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Lindsey Graham: ‘I Will Violate The Pledge’ To Not Raise Taxes [Video]

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Lindsey Graham: ‘I Will Violate The Pledge’ To Not Raise Taxes [Video]


In a Sunday morning appearance on ABC’s This Week, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) declared that he would violate Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge in order to strike a deal to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

While Graham reiterated that he is against raising tax rates, he also said, “When you’re $16 trillion in debt, the only pledge we should be making to each other is to avoid becoming Greece, and Republicans — Republicans should put revenue on the table.”

He then declared that “I will violate the pledge…for the good of the country,” but qualified that he would vote to increase taxes “only if Democrats will do entitlement reform.”

Instead of raising tax rates, Graham proposes increasing tax revenue by limiting the use of deductions for things such as charitable giving and mortgage interest — a proposal that is unlikely to gain much traction with President Barack Obama and Graham’s Democratic colleagues in the Senate.

Video of Graham’s appearance is below; his comments on the fiscal cliff begin at the 3:00 mark:

Graham joins Georgia senator Saxby Chambliss as the second Republican senator this week to disavow Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.” While their newfound flexibility on the issue may help the Senate reach a bipartisan debt deal, it also exposes the senators to potential primary challenges from the right in their upcoming re-election campaigns.

Henry Decker

Henry Decker was formerly the Managing Editor of The National Memo. He is currently an Online Associate at MRCampaigns.

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  1. nobsartist November 25, 2012

    Let us go off the fake cliff like they forced us to listen to their fake terror color codes.

  2. Dominick Vila November 26, 2012

    Graham is not the only one, Chambliss and King did the same. Not surprisingly, Norquist announced last night that those who abandon the no new taxes pledge will face the ire of their constituents when they run for re-election. Translation: the Tea Party will do everything in its power to defeat those who dare put country ahead of party priorities. A lot of traitors were executed in years past for less than Mr Norquist has done…

    1. jarheadgene November 26, 2012

      F * * K NORQUIST. He is a LOBBYIST. His Job should be OUTLAWED!!!!!!

  3. sumthinfishy November 26, 2012


    Norquist is slowly becoming irrelevent, as more politicians awake from their “Hell No” kegger….I mean Tea Party. Clinging to absolutes is not a workable solution in nature or in politics, as there is always change in all things…even the universe that continues to expand, even if some Republicans say it ain’t so.

    It is high time to put the inflexible idealism of others aside, and start using your own brains.

    Good Luck, and happy thinking on your own, (don’t worry this won’t hurt a bit!).

    1. jarheadgene November 26, 2012

      Time for Republicans to start using their brains….oh know, we’ve seen the results of “THEIR” thinktanks…..911…war…more war…no taxes on the rich, break unions, drive down the middle class pay scale. We would be better off buying Rupert Murdoch….And yes, I do believe HE CAN be BOUGHT… then telling him how we want the GOP to think….and
      PRESTO CHANGEO…..it is done. The REPUBLICAN party thinks as FOX news tells them. They don’t investigate any further than from Hannity or O’Rielly or Limbaughs A$$es to their lips. They believe these guys report on the TRUTH…..what can you say….”The mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

      1. imabrummie November 26, 2012

        To waste a mind implies a person has one to waste and I seriously doubt whether any of these ReTHUGlicans have too much of one when they sign such a pledge concocted by someone who is not even an elected official to dictate policy.

        1. Dominick Vila November 27, 2012

          The constitutionality of abiding by a pledge concocted by an unelected official that contradicts, or as a minimum undermines, the Oath of Office that every elected official must pledge before taking office must be explored.

          1. jvaljon1 November 28, 2012

            That ‘pledge’ was treasonous from the start. It was a financial attack on the US Treasury. Americans didn’t see it coming. Taxes run our government. Without a well-run government, America’s like a third-world country. But the solution here, isn’t to maunder on and on about Grover Norquist. Without the Republican party, Grover would have been on the street where he’s always belonged.

            As the Republicans have become traitors to their country, they should not be on any ballot. You elect Democrats, Independents. And you WATCH THE INDY’S CLOSELY. To see that the scum that’s wrecked America ever since 2000, doesn’t end up there.

  4. Jim Lou November 26, 2012

    There have been no real tax increases proposed by the new converts. Getting of deductions isn’t going to bring in any really significant additional revenue.

    1. dahl229 November 26, 2012

      You have it right Jim-no one’s really abandoning their tax pledge-this is Romney recycled to look like a compromise but really will only mean the middle class would again pay more by losing their mortgage deductions etc.

    2. HWEngineer November 26, 2012

      The only ‘deduction’ limitation that would help would be to limit the amount of income that qualifies for the lower capital gains rate.

  5. nobsartist November 26, 2012

    Next thing you know, lindsey will pledge to not kiss any more boys.

  6. zeldaq November 26, 2012

    i wonder where graham got the idea to break his pledge to norquist. he rarely has an idea of his own. he has been following john mc cain around lately. if mc cain turns quickly, graham’s nose will break off in mc cain’s ass. i think it’s time for these two dumb asses to retire. that would be a start.
    of coarse, there are plenty of others who signed that pledge, that should get out of the way of progress. in any case, the more repubs; and tea party people who break that pledge the better the chances are for economic recovery. that pledge { or extortion} was kind of ingenious. like something the MOB would do.
    norquist is not an elected official, yet he held more power than even the president. it’s too bad that some type of plan like that wasn’t used to better the country, instead of crippling it.
    i just hope it is a sign of things to come.
    have a great!!!!

  7. zeb01 November 26, 2012

    Grover Norquist is an insignificant little twerp who assumes more power and influence than he should be given. Why the GOP bows to his will is incomprehensible.

  8. nana4gj November 26, 2012

    It is not a badge of honor or a noble deed for any Republican Senator or Representative to decide to honor their Constitutional Oath of Office instead of blind adherence to a pledge or vow taken to a party ideologue, non-elected, with no power or authority other than that they grant him, which is to work against their re-elections.

    It is what they should have been doing all along. The fact that they chose not to, is unconscionable, during a time of dire economic crisis for the nation as a whole and for the people, individually. The only thing that stirred their “conscience” was the recent election, an omen that the people were fed up with them and their performances.

    Who is impressed by their sudden realization that they should be working on behalf of the nation and her people and not for some mere individual who does not represent the people?

    What does that tell us about the GOP in Congress or, for that matter, in any other elected office? It tells me that they have no individual courage of personal conviction; no individual thought or solution; no leadership; and no moral compass. It tells me that they are all followers, like sheep, of the most influential, loudest voice, and strongest fist, which does not bode well for their suitability for serving in Congress or for sitting in the Oval Office.

    They all did the same thing with the Congressional Obstruction Plan at the beginning of this President’s first term, which is unforgivable at any time, but heinous when the country was in very difficult financial straits, people were without jobs, homes, healthcare, and losing their credit and their savings, and resulted in the downgrade of our credit rating and the demonizing of the healthcare reform which focused on Affordability, cost cutting and improved quality, and increased access, something one would think a person in Congress would be supportive of, especially when it was a Republican conceived plan and they were included in the process, in good faith. Everyone followed along, like dumb sheep.

    Now, they promise to disavow their pledge to Norquist, but insist that they must have cuts to healthcare and Social Security, as if that is what is the cause of the deficit.

    In my opinion, they’re not “there” yet. They are stuck in rigid and unrealistic ideology; do not understand the subject matter of the ACA and Medicare, SS; and probably need a dose of personal experience in order to wake them up, such as unemployment, lack of tax subsidized healthcare, retirement, and all the “perks” that go with their position, which they just occupy but do not earn. A good start will be to force them into public housing paid out of pocket instead of the arrangements they have made to live in their Congressional Offices at our expense.

    1. jarheadgene November 26, 2012

      EXTREMELY WELL PUT….now if only you could convey that message to the FOX newsies.

  9. S Jayaraman November 26, 2012

    Grover can only twiddle his thumb. The recent election showed that all those tea party plus Grover pledges were thrown into dustbin by voters. Grover’s threat that the voters ire will prevail is like clapping with one hand. This self styled crusader has no voice anymore. Of course he can bark all he wants. In fact he can bark in unison with Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and a few other crackpots. They ain’t going nowhere except to Costa Rica where they get free medical treatment including psychiatry.

  10. Robin O'Brien November 26, 2012

    My deduction for mortgage interest is one of the only deductions I have….and I don’t make a lot of money…….wish they would find other entitlement programs to go after.

    Encouraging to see that a handful of Republicans are realizing that the 1% don’t rule the world.

  11. caroline r November 26, 2012

    It doesn’t sound like they’re throwing Grover Norquist pledge out the window. He simply said that instead of raising taxes, he would much prefer to raise revenue by doing away with tax deductions, which primarily benefit the middle class. These two senators have simply opted to talked out of the other side of their mouth because what they were previously saying was unpopular. I think they should actually consider being more forthcoming about what they really want to do to people.

    1. jarheadgene November 26, 2012

      Because they would be talking about taking away one of the only tax breaks most middle class American’s get. And Middle class America, those that THINK….not the Fox newsies…..
      are the ones that just TROUNCED Romney in a Genearal Election. And said bye bye to a few GOP Senators. So if they skirt the truth and outright lie they may have a chance at keeping a job.

  12. Landsende November 26, 2012

    The question we should all be asking is how did Norquist get so much power and who is providing the money to defeat those that oppose them. There’s some big money interests hiding in the shadows and pulling the strings. Koch brothers and who else?

    1. Del WS November 26, 2012

      I’ve been wondering the same thing ever since I first learned about Norquist and his pledge. Where is he getting the power that makes so many in Congress scared to cross him? Now that’s something that needs to be exposed.

      1. Landsende November 26, 2012

        Del WS
        It’s not outside the realm of possibility that Norquist is accepting cash from foreign countries such as China, United Arab Emirates or other countries to push their agendas which would be treasonous if he didn’t disclose it. The Justice Department needs to look into his activities since the republicans are afraid of him and would block any efforts by congress to investigate him.

    2. grammyjill November 26, 2012

      One that has been funding him is Karl Rove. So the Koch brothers are probably in it thick too.

  13. TSB November 26, 2012

    Those repulicans should be ashamed and embarrassed by the Grover pledge because they’ve essentially turned their backs on the American people to shape this country in the direction it needs to go, FORWARD! They may now be learning that the only way to move ahead is to follow the money, get it where it is(the wealthy) and pay for the progress that will grow the nation. They’ve got to stop the fainaigue. No more hiding behind the Norquist
    apron of a phony pledge.

  14. Donald November 26, 2012

    crazy white party should have done this long befoe now

  15. jarheadgene November 26, 2012

    Grover Norquist…..Elected Official?…..World Leader?…..Military Genious?….Richest Man in America?…..Presidential (powerful) Appointment?….. NO , NO, NO, NO, NO, HE is a LOBBYIST!
    So why in the world does he talk like he is more important and powerful than the guy who has been elected POTUS – TWICE ??????? And why are the GOP Senators and Congressmen so afraid of some P.O.S. contract they signed with him….will it stand up in a court of law? Doubt it. Is that stupid P.O.S. contract, those IDIOTIC MORONIC Senators and Congressmen (Elected Officials) signed, more powerful than the CONSTITUTION of the United States? …….You know the Constitution the REAL contract with our Congress. That piece of paper many of us have put on military uniforms and swore to uphold….some to their death. That paper comes at a very high price my friends….. A higher price than any one like NORQUIST, or his tax dodging friends have ever been willing to stand for. Norquist, you and your buddy Trump can go home….take your toys go home and get ready to pay more taxes you NIXONITE. I have more respect for the scum on the bottom of my shoe than for Norquist….who does he think he is?

  16. Del WS November 26, 2012

    Lindsey Graham stating what he’d want in exchange for agreeing to an increase in taxes is only more of the same, just put in different words. Talk of breaking a pledge he never should have made to begin with still leaves us with basic Lindsey Graham. Nothing new or helpful there.

  17. artolga November 26, 2012

    Really listen to what these Republicans are saying about raising revenue! It’s a con-game. They are not talking about raising the tax rate for the rich. Each one has conditions for raising revenues, like “adjustments to entitlements” whatever that means, or taking away the few loopholes used by the common guy (such as deducting interest on ones house and medical expenses). How about them talking about a minimum tax rate for wealthy individuals and corporations? (fat chance as they spend their entire careers taking care of the fat cats!) So I’m saying “don’t trust them)

  18. onedonewong November 26, 2012

    I’m OK with that as long as he filibusters Rice from becoming Sec of State

  19. jezze48 November 27, 2012

    Im not a Republican but it would help the party if they dont listen to narrow-minded buffoons like Grover Norquist and Rush Limpballs.

  20. 1bythebrooks2 November 27, 2012

    I’ve pledged only two things in my life. The Pledge Of Allegence to the flag of the U.S.A, and the 4-H pledge when I was in 4-H. Heck, I didn’t even have to pledge my troth when I got married! What does Norquist have over these fools!

  21. Ex-GOP voter November 27, 2012

    I don’t understand why Justice hasn’t opened a file on Mr. Norquist and his supporters. I had to take the same Oath of Office that these clowns did. As it was explained to me, signing a pledge like this one–with a fellow who has publicly said his plan is to shirk Government to the size of a bathtub and then throw it out–is pretty much the equivalent of Treason. People forget the oath is to defend the U.S. against enemies, both foreign and DOMESTIC. If he has not stated a potential DOMESTIC plot against our government, then I need a new definition of the one that was given to me.

  22. jvaljon1 November 28, 2012

    “Entitlements”? You mean, what I’ve PAID for over the years? Social Security and Medicare? THOSE ENTITLEMENTS? Hey, you NeoCON crooked pisspots—-I PAID for that! ‘Scuse me—my PARENTS paid for ME—just as I’M paying for my KIDS’ SS! Keep your filthy grimy traitorous hands off of our “Entitlements”. They’re not in this discussion and they’re DEFINITELY not up for grabs, not from the likes of you, not from ANYONE.

    To the 10% of Americans who are the wealthiest: you PAY BACK what you STOLE FROM AMERICA, you TRAITOROUS PIGS, ever since 2001 when your unelected, Supreme-Court-appointed, so-called “president” Bush, decided to interfere with normal tax-collection practices in this country, and instead, give you, MY TAX MONIES instead of collecting YOUR TAX MONIES.

    You do that: you pay back YOUR SHARE of the monies that you’ve owed the US Treasury ever since 2001, and MAYBE we won’t make you REPATRIATE YOUR ILL-GOTTEN WEALTH by making it RETROACTIVELY ILLEGAL, to stick cash in Switz. or the Caymans.


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