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Bush 41: 'Who the hell is Grover Norquist'?

President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara (file)
President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara (file)

Former President George H.W. Bush, now 88, has something to say to those who are unwilling to compromise — specifically to Grover Norquist and those who sign his tax pledge. 

"The rigidity of those pledges is something I don't like," the former president said in an interview with PARADE. "The circumstances change and you can't be wedded to some formula by Grover Norquist. It's — who the hell is Grover Norquist, anyway?"

At this point, former first lady Barbara Bush interjected, "I think he ought to go back to Alaska [laughs]." This being a reference to a comment she made about Sarah Palin in 2010.

During the 1988 presidential campaign, Bush made a very bold campaign pledge not to raise taxes on the American people. Once he was elected, however, Bush 41 made the choice of compromising with the Democratic-controlled Congress in order to tackle the country's deficit. In doing so, the president broke his famous campaign pledge and alienated members of the Republican party establishment. 

Besides scolding Grover Norquist and criticizing the partisanship that plagues Washington, the Bush's describe their relationship with former President Bill Clinton. Once bitter political rivals, the two men have worked together on charitable causes over the past decade and in doing so have become an example of friendship transcending politics. Mrs. Bush summed up their relationship as that of father and son saying, "I think he thinks of George as the father he never had. Truthfully. I mean that as a compliment. He's been very thoughtful about calling and he's a good fellow."