Boy oh boy. This episode of Press The Meat is one for the record books. If you didn’t know that Grover was a co-founder of the K Street Project and the host of his infamous Wednesday morning meetings, you might think he was really concerned about the integrity of the political process!
DAVID GREGORY: Grover, I want to start with you as we get first reaction to Secretary Geithner. the line in the sand is clear, and that is that the administration, the president, says that Republicans will indeed blink, that they will ultimately have to acquiesce, tax rates have to go up.
NORQUIST: Well, your interview with him was very, very helpful to me because in the past, there have been some Republicans who thought that maybe the administration, like Clinton, was going to be reasonable, that they might put real reforms like welfare reform like Clinton did on the table. what we just heard was no reforms. He even took the $1 trillion in spending cuts they agreed to, to the debt ceiling, took that off. So we’ll spend $1 trillion more there [...] this is a massive collection of spending increases and tax increases. Every Republican who had impure thoughts of maybe I could raise taxes a little because the other guy would be reasonable has to go back to the drawing board. They have just been told there are no real reforms in this budget at all.
GREGORY: But what about the –
NORQUIST: $1.6 trillion in tax increases, and some of the savings are actually tax increases.
GREGORY: How about the direct point? The Treasury Secretary telling me, look, Republicans are not going to stand in the way of tax rates going up. True or false?
NORQUIST: Republicans want to continue the Bush tax cuts and the extenders and the AMT patch and so on. And what we did two years ago, what Clinton signed two years ago, with a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate did two years ago, is exactly what we should do now to start with. It’s the president who is threatening to raise taxes on the middle class if he doesn’t stamp his feet and get his way. He needs to get into a room with cameras there and negotiate. That was all show and no economics. Have it in front of C-SPAN cameras. If the Republicans are reasonable, we’ll see that. If not, we’ll see that. Have cameras there.
Actually, Grover, it wasn’t Clinton – it was President Obama who signed that. But it appears you’re feeling a little insecure and shaken up lately. I wonder why?
And if you want to negotiations to take place on C-SPAN, fine. Just as soon as your Wednesday morning meetings are televised, too. Only fair, right?