Norquist: Cuccinelli Should Show He’s Serious About Holding Line on Taxes

Thursday, 14 Mar 2013 04:01 PM

By Cyrus Afzali and John Bachman

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Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist Thursday criticized Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for refusing to sign his tax pledge, saying Virginia voters have already been fooled once.

Speaking to Newsmax TV at CPAC 2013, Norquist said signing the pledge would give the 2013 Republican gubernatorial candidate a key way to distinguish himself from candidate Terry McAuliffe, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

“The sitting governor ran for office saying ‘I’ll never ran taxes’ verbally but won’t put it in writing,” said Norquist referring to Bob McDonnell.

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“He spent four years planning how to raise taxes and break the Republican opposition to tax increases so he could have a legacy of tax increases.

“Unless you put that commitment in writing, it’s meaningless,” said Norquist.

Signing the pledge would put Cuccinelli in line with others such as Govs. Rick Scott, Bobby Jindal, and those who’ve proven they’re serious about holding the line on taxes, Norquist insisted.

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“I’m saddened because I would like him to win,” Norquist said. “I believe he’s making a tactical decision that makes it less likely he’ll win.”

Turning to competing Republican and Democratic budget proposals, Norquist said Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan is the clear winner for those who are truly interested in putting the nation on a sustainable fiscal future.

“The Democrats’ budget raises taxes, never balances and never pays down the debt. (The two parties’ budget proposals) are two very dramatic and different directions,” Norquist said.

Norquist also believes Ryan’s budget framework can actually result in a balanced budget and reduced federal debt faster than many believe.

“The Ryan plan cuts marginal tax rates, simplifies the tax code and lowers rate. That will give you much more growth which will balance budget not in 10 years but in six or seven,” Norquist said.

While many at CPAC are discussing ways the Republican Party can better target an increasingly diverse electorate, Norquist believes a good tax policy alone is enough to tip the scales.

“In 2012, we should have won the Senate, but we had poor candidates in Indiana, Missouri. That’s why the smart move in 2014 is endorsing the Ryan plan,” he said. “Having had a strong Republican majority in the House vote twice for the Ryan plan shows it’s a good plan.”

Norquist also dismisses the notion that older voters are turned off by Ryan’s budget plan.

“(Republicans) won in Florida where you had Senators and Congressmen who ran on it and older people voted for Romney and Republicans. Ryan went into the state and campaigned on issues and made it clear that ifyou’re over 55 this doesn’t affect you. I think it was a net asset,” Norquist said.

“It’s the only policy that works over the next 75 years. There is no other way to balanced budget and pay down the debt.”

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