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Norquist says Gingrich, Romney good on taxes, could win his support

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are the two candidates with solid ideas on tax reform and the potential to win his support, anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist said Sunday.

"They've both looked you in the eye and said they're not going to raise their taxes," he said on NBC's Meet the Press, referring to his pledge not to increase taxes that both candidates have signed. Norquist said Jon Huntsman was the only candidate not to have signed.

But Norquist said Romney needs to update the economic plan he released early in the campaign season, before the conversation on taxes shifted following the floating of flat-tax proposals by Gingrich, Texas Rick Perry and Herman Cain.

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"Romney put in his plan in very early," Norquist said. "He needs to update it to catch up with where the debate's going." In the week since the congressional supercommittee failed to reach a deal on $1.2 trillion in deficit-reduction cuts, Democrats have blamed Norquist and his anti-tax pledge as an insurmountable obstacle preventing Republican lawmakers from backing the tax revenue increases Democrats say are needed to pay for debt reduction.

Norquist though dismissed those claims saying the pledge was "not to me, to the American people."

Democrats have also lashed out at him for preferring to let a payroll tax cut holiday that primarily benefits the middle class expire, rather than allow a small rate hike on wealthier Americans to pay for it.

But Norquist said that would be destructive, claiming that unlike the reduced tax rates championed by President George W. Bush, the Obama payroll tax cut was intended to last for only one year.