Norquist rebuts Coburn, says he 'stands alone' on taxes

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He said that Coburn lied when he stated in the Times piece that all but six of the 41 Senate Republicans violated the pledge when they supported an amendment ending an ethanol tax break last year that did not have a corresponding tax reduction. 

Norquist said that senators had voted for it under the assumption it was tied to another bill, offered by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), that would have ended the estate tax. 

He said that Coburn is also being misleading when he says House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerIt's time for McConnell to fight with Trump instead of against him How Republicans can bring order out of the GOP's chaos Republican donor sues GOP for fraud over ObamaCare repeal failure MORE (R-Ohio) was willing to raise revenue in failed grand bargain talks with President Obama last year. That revenue was solely from tax rate reductions spurring growth, Norquist said.

The lobbyist said that Coburn last year had assured him publicly that he supports only growth-induced revenue increases and cited a letter in which Coburn and fellow Gang of Six deficit negotiators Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Saxby ChamblissSaxby ChamblissFormer GOP senator: Let Dems engage on healthcare bill OPINION: Left-wing politics will be the demise of the Democratic Party GOP hopefuls crowd Georgia special race MORE (R-Ga.) said they would work with him “to support a proposal where any increase in revenue generation will be the result of the pro-growth effects of lower individual and corporate tax rates for all Americans.”

Norquist said that Coburn since that time appears to have “gone native or developed Stockholm Syndrome” from spending too much time with Sen. Richard DurbinDick DurbinOPINION | DACA helps people achieve the American dream, don't take it away Immigration battlefield widens for Trump, GOP 'Dreamers' deadline looms for Trump MORE (D-Ill.) in Gang of Six meetings.

He said the example of a deficit grand bargain with entitlement reforms in exchange for a “penny” in tax increases is a “bizarre straw man” that does not exist. Instead, Democrats are seeking trillions in tax increases that must be resisted, he said.

Norquist said he is not nervous about losing his fight against tax increases. He confidently predicted the GOP will take the Senate and White House and enact Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanGOP chairman to discuss Charlottesville as domestic terrorism at hearing Trump’s isolation grows GOP lawmaker: Trump 'failing' in Charlottesville response MORE's (R-Wis.) budget, which slashes $5 trillion in spending and reforms Medicare and the tax code without raising taxes.

— This story was updated on June 17 to clarify a remark from Norquist.