Norquist Defends Boehner’s Leadership

By Melanie Arter | December 14, 2012 | 10:12 AM EST

Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama at the White House on Nov. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

( Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist defended the leadership of House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday during an appearance on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” after a caller suggested the speaker has been in Congress too long and recommended Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) as a better replacement.

“I think a lot John Boehner, but he’s been there 22 years. We in Georgia, a lot of us feel like Tom Price ought to be elected speaker. He’ll be much more aggressive. He will not capitulate on taxes to Obama. So what do you think of Tom Price being speaker? And I just want to say, Grover, you’re a national hero, you’re exactly right on taxes,” the caller said.

“Thank you very much Joe, very kind comments, and of course all the Republicans in Georgia in the House of Representatives have been stalwart in opposing tax increases. Neither of the Republican senators have voted for a tax increase. Congressman Price is a great Republican leader and a great conservative leader,” Norquist said.

Norquist defended Boehner’s leadership, saying the Ohio Republican was successful at “holding all the Republicans together.”

“I actually would point to Boehner’s success over the last couple of years in holding all the Republicans together, not to oppose the stimulus package. Remember [President] Obama, [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid and [House Democratic Leader Nancy] Pelosi put $800 billion of very tempting cash on the table – other people’s money, taxpayer dollars in debt – and said which congressman would like to take some of this home and spend it,” Norquist said.

“And there were some Republican appropriators who were tempted to do a little shoplifting, but every one of them decided no. And I think that not only their own internal good behavior helped on that, but the leadership from Boehner in explaining that if you want to go to the American people and change the direction from the tax and spend that Obama was moving people into, you can’t have your fingerprints on the murder weapon,” he said.

“You can’t engage in that sort of tax and spend policy and then go to the American people and say, ‘Well trust us, we’d do it better.’ You really have to make the differences clear, and I think Boehner’s done a pretty good job of that,” Norquist added.

“Everyone can improve, and I know that the Republicans in the House are working with Boehner to make sure they have the strongest position against Obamacare and its taxes and regulations and against the overspending of the last four plus years,” he said.