GOP Senator: I Don't Care About Grover Norquist

Chambliss says he'll raise taxes if need be

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 24, 2012 12:22 PM CST

(Newser) – Grover Norquist's once-solid hold on Republicans who took his anti-tax pledge seems to be loosening. Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss has publicly broken ranks, telling WMAZ that he will vote to raise taxes if it's right for the nation. "I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge," said Chambliss, one of the bipartisan Gang of Six working on a deficit-reduction plan. "If we do it his way then we'll continue in debt, and I just have a disagreement with him about that."

Chambliss added that he fully expects political retribution, probably in the form of a primary challenger in 2014, "but I don't worry about that because I care too much about my country. I care a lot more about it than I do Grover Norquist." As Politico reports, Norquist didn't take long to respond. Chambliss "promised the people of Georgia he would go to Washington and reform government rather than raise taxes to pay for bigger government," said the leader of Americans for Tax Reform in a statement. The senator should explain himself to Georgia's residents if he intends to go back on the promise, Norquist added. (One columnist thinks Norquist is "impervious to reality.")

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg, File)
Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)
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