Anti-tax champion Grover Norquist says President Obama won reelection by portraying Mitt Romney as a "poopy-head," not because of his economic policies.
Appearing on CBS's "This Morning" today, the president of Americans for Tax Reform suggested Obama's reelection did not signify a national choice on tax policy and disputed the notion that Americans chose Obama over Romney because of his repeated argument that wealthy Americans should pay higher rates. Instead, he said, Obama won on his negative portrayal of the GOP candidate.
"We just had an election, and the House of Representatives was elected committed to keeping taxes low," Norquist told interviewer Charlie Rose.
"The president was elected on the basis that he was not Romney and that Romney was a poopy-head, and you should vote against Romney, and he won by two points," Norquist said, referring to Obama's 50 percent to 48 percent margin of victory in the national popular vote. "But he didn't make the case that we should have higher taxes and higher spending. He kind of sounded like the opposite."
Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform in 1985, and he is known in political circles as the author and keeper of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge- a document that most Republican lawmakers sign, pledging not to raise marginal tax rates and to oppose any effort to eliminate tax credits or deductions without accompanying reductions in tax rates.
House Speaker John Boehner and some Senate Republicans have signaled that revenue-raising must be on the table. Boehner has also said he opposes raising marginal tax rates.
Norquist has long held that lower tax rates lead to higher revenue, by spurring economic growth. He reiterated that stance in his interview with Rose and co-anchor Norah O'Donnell.
"You can get higher revenue through economic growth," Norquist said. "If you grow at 4 percent a year instead of 2 percent a year, the government would get $5 trillion in additional revenue. I'd rather do growth than raise taxes, which slows the economy and damages things."