The Washington Post

Grover Norquist: I’m for compromise ... ‘in the direction of liberty’

Grover Norquist says he’s all for compromise — when it’s “in the direction of liberty.”

Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

“Now, I’m all in favor of compromising in the direction of liberty,” Norquist said. “If we’re trying to go to California from here in D.C., getting to West Virginia, Missouri is not treason. It’s getting there slowly. However, if our feet get wet and we start hearing people speak French, we’re losing. We’re not compromising. We’re losing.”

“And when the left asks us to compromise, be careful. What they usually mean is, ‘Why don’t you do it my way? Why don’t you give up?’” he added. “Let us all together compromise in the direction of liberty, but never compromise on principle.”

It’s a message that Norquist -- to whom House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) last year referred to as “some random person” — will likely reprise next week when he huddles with the House GOP conference.

Norquist drew some laughs from the crowd with his characteristic wit. At one point, he garnered applause when he told attendees that “the left is not made up of friends and allies; the left is made up of competing parasites.”

“Our job is to stop feeding them so that they turn on the guy next to them and start chewing on their ankles so that when we meet them in two and four years in the next election, there are fewer of them and they’re shorter,” he said.

The architect of an anti-tax pledge that has been signed by the most congressional Republicans also spoke at length on bipartisan cooperation.

“When somebody tells you in Washington, D.C., ‘What about the good old days of bipartisan compromise?’ What that person has told you is how very old they are, because they remember when everything was bipartisan because the liberal Republicans and the liberal Democrats would get together and fight the conservative Republicans and the conservative Democrats. And everything was bipartisan because the parties didn’t mean anything,” Norquist said.

He added: “But today, Republicans want lower taxes and less spending, and the Democrats want higher taxes and more spending. What would a compromise look like? If somebody wants to go west and somebody wants to go east, what’s the compromise?”


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