Does Grover Norquist feel responsible for Washington’s partisan gridlock?

The short answer is no.

It’s the question I posed to Norquist during my interview with him ahead of his visit to Minnesota on Tuesday, Feb. 21, to speak to the White Bear Area Chamber of Commerce.

Norquist is head of the group Americans for Tax Reform, a group that encourages candidates to sign a pledge that they will never, under any circumstance, support tax increases if elected. Once elected, the group keeps tabs of who has signed the pledge and who has broken the pledge.

Norquist’s critics don’t mince words, saying the pledge hamstrings lawmakers by keeping them from supporting budget compromises.

So I asked him during our interview whether he feels responsible for Washington’s gridlock, given he’s considered to be one of the most powerful (unelected) men in the nation’s capital. He says President Obama is to blame. His answer is here:

Norquist’s interview as it aired on Tuesday’s ‘The Daily Circuit’ can be found here.

Tom Weber, reporter

  • Justin

    It shouldn’t be quite so easy to tell that the good folks at MPR hate Grover Norquist. You disagree with him and that’s fine, but please try to make an effort to sound objective.

  • Greg

    The spineless politicians that take this ridiculous pledge are responsible for the gridlock. Norquist did not elect them, their constituents did. No one owes him any loyalty.

  • Greg

    The spineless politicians that take this ridiculous pledge are responsible for the gridlock. Norquist did not elect them, their constituents did. No one owes him any loyalty.

  • Anne in Virginia

    Interesting interview. Good questions, and brief. I definitely listened, and would like more like it. The hour-long speech yesterday by a guy who was going to say how wonderful Reagan was – I turned it off just after the intro. No way was I going to listen to an unquestioned hour about Reagan. Read more of “Pity the Billionaire” instead.

  • Ryan

    Does MPR support the GOP? It’s hard to tell which party they support.

  • GreX

    Justin – news should’t seek to “make” Grover sound one way or the other. He does a fine job of sounding like himself. I find it disingenuous that Mr. Grover is granted free media at all. His pledge is old news and he hasn’t added anything to it since it was started. Time to let it go.

  • JBL

    When you tick off the true believers on both sides of an issue you know you’ve hit the sweet spot. Norquist got to say his piece and Weber didn’t let him go unchallenged. I think that’s what good interviewing sounds like.