Now Cantor Backing Away From the Pledge

But Norquist says he'll go after anyone breaking it

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 26, 2012 1:31 PM CST
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(Newser) – Eric Cantor joined the ranks of Republicans distancing themselves from Grover Norquist's pledge against raising taxes this morning, signaling that the GOP is willing to put revenue on the table to avert the fiscal cliff. "When I go to my constituents, it's not about the pledge," Cantor said on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "It really is about trying to solve problems." He still indicated that he was opposed to raising the marginal rate or the capital gains rate, but noted that if nothing is done "taxes are going up on everyone. That's what's changed."

Cantor is hardly alone, of course. Several prominent Republican lawmakers have made similar pronouncements. "If a deal brings taxes higher than their current level, but leaves them lower than they would be if taxes rise as scheduled, would voting for that deal really constitute voting to raise taxes?" asks one National Review blogger. But Norquist is standing firm. This morning he told CNN that Americans for Tax Reform would "certainly highlight who has kept their commitment and who hasn't," adding, "If you want to go to your voters and say, 'I promised you this, and I'm breaking my promise,' you can have that conversation with them."

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