Tonight’s guest Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, is at the center of a very public battle over a no-tax hike pledge with Republican Sen. Tom Coburn. Norquist told Politico the Oklahoma Senator “lied his way” into office:
The pledge that Tom Coburn signed was to the citizens of Oklahoma. He made that promise in campaigning for Senate in Oklahoma.
Coburn said on national TV today that he lied his way into office and will vote to raise taxes if he damn well feels like it, never mind what he promised the citizens of Oklahoma. Sen. Coburn knows perfectly well that the pledge is not to any organization but to the citizens of his state. He lied to them, not to Americans for Tax Reform.
Before this recent television comment, Coburn told me personally in a phone call that he would not vote for a tax increase and repeated his commitment in writing in a public letter to me.
This email came in response to Coburns’s appearance on yesterday’s MTP. Coburn referred to Norquist’s organization as a “special interest group” and basically said he would violate Grover Norquist’s pledge — a clear sign of breaking GOP ranks.
Coburn didn’t offer up any specifics yet, but hinted the so-called Gang of Six plan would include something called “significant dynamic effects by taking away tax credits.” Coburn is part of a bi-partisan group of negotiators trying to figure out a long-term fix for the nation’s mounting debt.
Lawrence first brought up the spat in last Tuesday’s Rewrite, and called Norquist “the most powerful man in America who does not sleep in the White House” for his sway over GOP tax policy.