(NEW YORK) — Grover Norquist says he doesn’t hold any grudges against George H.W. Bush, even if the 41st president apparently holds one against him.
In a Parade magazine interview, Bush disparages the no-new tax pledge that Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, has had numerous Republicans sign.
According to the former president, “The rigidity of those pledges is something I don’t like. The circumstances change and you can’t be wedded to some formula by Grover Norquist. It’s — who the hell is Grover Norquist, anyway?”
In response, Norquist says that Bush obviously forgets that he signed that pledge in 1987 and then in 1988 famously said, “Read my lips: No new taxes.”
With the economy mired in a recession during his one and only term in office, Bush wound up signing a compromise with Capitol Hill Democrats that candidate Bill Clinton used against the Republican in his successful run for the White House.
Norquist charges that Bush lost because voters “really don’t like when politicians lie to them.” But as far as forgetting about signing the pledge, Norquist says he’s willing to cut Bush some slack since it happened so long ago.
He suggests that those who make the promise not to raise taxes aren’t doing it for Norquist or his organization but for the American people.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Allie Malloy and Wesley Bruer, CNN Newswire
Stephen Collinson, CNN Newswire