Norquist to King: “I Hope his Wife Understands That Commitments Last a Little Longer Than Two years”

Daniel Doherty

11/27/2012 7:30:00 AM - Daniel Doherty

Quite rightly, Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist is lashing out at congressional Republicans -- especially Rep. Peter King (R-NY) -- for trying to “weasel” out of the anti-tax pledge they had previously signed but now (surprise!) no longer want to uphold:

Anti-tax hike crusader Grover Norquist is slamming Rep. Peter King, saying he hoped “his wife understands that commitments last a little longer than two years” after the New York lawmaker said the no-taxes pledge is binding for only one session of Congress.

“The pledge is not for life, but everybody who signed the pledge including Peter King, and tried to weasel out of it, shame on him,” Norquist said on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” on Monday, adding, “I hope his wife understands that commitments last a little longer than two years or something.”

Norquist’s comments came as King and some other top Republicans said they were willing to end their commitment to the pledge as Washington scrambles to find a deal that will fend off the looming fiscal cliff. On Sunday, King said that the “taxpayer protection pledge” —first offered in 1986 from Norquist’s organization, Americans for Tax Reform — isn’t binding today.

“A pledge you signed 20 years ago, 18 years ago, is for that Congress,” King said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “For instance, if I were in Congress in 1941, I would have supported a declaration of war against Japan. I’m not going to attack Japan today.”

Most of the Republicans in Congress have signed Norquist’s pledge.

“Hey, if you think a commitment is not for as long as you make it for, the commitment for the pledge, as Peter King well knows when he signed it, is that as long as you’re in Congress, you will [rein in] spending and reform government and not raise taxes,” Norquist said. “It’s not for 500 years or two generations. It’s only as long as you’re in the House or Senate. if he stayed too long, that’s his problem. But you don’t tell the bank, ‘Oh, the mortgage, wasn’t that a long time ago?’

“If you make a commitment, you keep it,” he continued.

Of course, King is not the only squishy GOP lawmaker now saying that the anti-tax pledge he once signed is no longer binding. And he certainly won’t be the last -- especially because the public at large (read this) will almost certainly blame Republicans if the debt negotiations head south and the country soars off the so-called “fiscal cliff” come January.