Fiscal Cliff

Grover Norquist on Fiscal Cliff, Tax Pledges, & Being the GOP's "Rasputin"

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"The people who attack me as 'Rasputin' think that the Republicans truly want to raise taxes," says Grover Norquist, the head of Americans for Tax Reform. ATR's "Taxpayer Protection Pledge" has drawn the ire of Democrats and the media as the fiscal cliff approaches. Candidates and officeholders who sign the pledge vow not to raise net taxes on individuals and businesses. For the past couple of decades, signing the pledge has become a pro forma exercise for Republicans with aspirations for national office.

His critics, continues Norquist, think "the only thing keeping [GOP legislators] from raising taxes…is that I would call them names."

Reason's Nick Gillespie sat down with Norquist to discuss the attacks, why he thinks Obama wants to take the U.S. over the fiscal cliff, and whether House Majority Leader John Boehner can ever be trusted to control spending.

About 22 minutes. Shot by Meredith Bragg, and Joshua Swain; edited by Swain.

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