Former President George H. W. Bush had some harsh words for conservative activist Grover Norquist in an interview with Parade magazine.
Excepts of the interview, which will be published in full in Sunday's issue of Parade, suggested that Bush is not in favor of the "Taxpayer Protection Pledge" from Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform.
The pledge, which has been signed by a vast majority of Republican lawmakers in Washington, calls for the opposition to any and all tax increases.
"The rigidity of those pledges is something I don't like," said Bush, who failed to live up to his own "no new taxes" pledge.
"The circumstances change and you can't be wedded to some formula by Grover Norquist," Bush said. "It's—who the hell is Grover Norquist, anyway?"
Bush famously proclaimed "Read my lips: no new taxes" at the 1988 Republican National Convention but was forced to break his pledge as part of a budget deal with Congress. His reversal has been cited as part of the reason for his defeat in the 1992 elections.
Former First Lady Barbara Bush, who also took part in the interview, suggested that Norquist should "go back to Alaska," a reference to a comment she made about Sarah Palin in 2010.
Democrats have often attacked Republicans over the "no new taxes" pledge, arguing that lawmakers should be loyal to the country and not to Norquist.
Meanwhile, Tea Party Nation was quick to respond to Bush's remarks, calling him a "forgotten President" and a "one-term wonder" and claiming he "blew the Reagan legacy."
"Who the hell is George H.W. Bush?" wrote Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips. "He's the guy who called the strategy that Ronald Reagan used to bring America back, 'Voodoo economics.' George H.W. Bush is the last guy the Republicans should be listening to."
by RTT Staff Writer
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