Anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist said he’s been in discussions with former Gov. Jeb Bush’s aides and is convinced he’ll sign his famous “pledge” if he runs for president, even though Bush has made a point of not signing it in previous runs for office.
Norquist, the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, told ABC News he believes Bush will come around on the wisdom of vowing in writing in a pledge to constituents not to raise taxes.
“Right now everyone who is thinking of running has signed it in his present capacity or in a previous race, with the exception of Jeb Bush,” Norquist said.
Norquist added that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie hasn’t actually signed the pledge, but “everyone thinks” he has because “he has stated publically that he would never raise taxes so many times.”
“The challenge for Jeb is he’s said publically, ‘I might.’ I think he’ll be comfortable. But his father and his brother didn’t do pledges, didn’t do questionnaires, did sign the pledge. Because it’s different -- it’s been endorsed by the Republican Party for crying out loud.”
Norquist said he’s been talking to Bush aides, and “we have to wait for them to realize” that it’s a smart move to sign the pledge.
Jeb Bush has made his refusal to sign the anti-tax pledge a point of principle throughout his political career. He blasted the concept of the pledge as recently as 2012.
“I don’t believe you outsource your principles and convictions to people. I respect Grover’s political involvement. He has every right to do it, but I never signed any pledge,” Bush told a congressional panel.