Reid says Republican lawmakers ‘being led like puppets’ by Grover Norquist

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDems gain upper hand on budget Senate Dems: Don't leave for break without Supreme Court vote Moulitsas: The year of the woman MORE (D-Nev.) said Tuesday that conservative anti-tax activist Grover Norquist is the de facto head of the Republican party.

Reid said Grover is directing congressional Republicans "like puppets."

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Reid and Sen. Chuck SchumerCharles SchumerOvernight Tech: Tech pushes for debate spotlight | Disney may bid for Twitter | Dem seeks Yahoo probe Saudis hire lobbyists amid 9/11 fight Consumer bureau remains partisan target after Wells Fargo settlement MORE (D-N.Y.), the Democratic message guru, have tried to portray Republicans as beholden to “extreme” special interests such as Norquist and Tea Party activists.

“My Republican friends, those poor folks, are being led like puppets by Grover Norquist,” Reid told reporters. “They’re giving speeches that we should compromise on our deficit. Never do they compromise on Grover Norquist. He is their leader.”

Reid touted a quote from testimony delivered earlier in the day from former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.



Simpson said Republican members of the panel should ignore Norquist, the mastermind of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which nearly every Republican in Congress has signed.


Signatories vow they will not support any legislation that raises the net tax burden.

“The only thing he can do is try to defeat you in your reelection and if that means more to you than your country then you shouldn’t be in Congress,” Simpson told the panel, according to an excerpt Reid read to reporters.