The conservative organizer and anti-tax leader Grover Norquist raised eyebrows at a conservative gathering in New York last night for the invective he directed at Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, a Republican.
Norquist, the longtime president of Americans for Tax Reform, labeled Sandoval a "rat" for cutting a deal last year with his state legislature to extend 2009 tax increases he'd promised to end, a participant at the monthly Monday Meeting, an influential conservative gathering in New York, told BuzzFeed.
On the same grounds, Norquist dismissed the notion that Sandoval, a popular moderate Hispanic Republic in a swing state, could be Romney's running mate, the source said.
Norquist spokesman Jon Kartch didn't respond directly to a question about the "rat" comment, but said in an email: "What he did say was Sandoval refused to take the pledge in writing and did raise taxes."
Now you don't see me doing this often, but I have to correct Norquist and his spokesman in their misleading spin on what Brian Sandoval actually said and did. First off, let's talk about the pledge. While Sandoval didn't physically sign Norquist's stupid pledge, he fully embraced its "spirit" on the campaign trail as he took virtually the same position on taxes and the state budget as "tea party darling" Jim Gibbons. Last spring, he just parroted Norquist's and Gibbons' "no new taxes" nonsense while scores of Nevadans begged him to reconsider. Even late last month, his
Seriously, that isn't "no new taxes" enough for Norquist? Apparently, not.
In fact, he's now dissing Sandoval not because he embraced "new taxes", but rather because he realized the Nevada Supreme Court left him with no realistic option but to extend the 2009 tax deal. I mean, that wasn't even "new taxes", but rather the package of taxes that several Republicans voted in 2009 to override Jim Gibbons' veto of. So now, just an extension of what had already passed with bipartisan support is now "new taxes" that must disqualify an attractive Republican Governor from an increasingly blue-leaning swing state from becoming the Republican Presidential Nominee's running mate?
Apparently, so. No wonder why Mitt Romney can't hold onto one consistent position on any issue. And no wonder why the G-O-TEA faction in Congress can't agree on any realistic budget.