Norquist: ‘Republican Elected Officials Who Vote for Tax Increases Are Rat Heads in a Coke Bottle’

By Craig Millward | March 18, 2013 | 4:22 PM EDT

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (AP Photo)

( - In a speech at the Conservative Political Action Convention in suburban Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist criticized Republicans who vote for tax increases, saying they “damaged the brand” and compared them to “rat heads in a Coke bottle.”

“Republican elected officials who vote for tax increases are rat heads in a Coke bottle. They damaged the brand for everybody else,” Norquist said, using the analogy of Coca-Cola to describe branding.

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“Now one of the ways we got people to commit not to raise taxes is we had the pledge out there, and we branded the modern Republican Party as the party that would not raise your taxes. Branding is important,” Norquist said.

“If you get two-thirds of the way through your bottle of Coke, and you look in and there is a rat head in what’s left of your Coke bottle, you do not say to yourself: ‘You know I’m wondering whether I’m going to finish all the rest of this particular bottle of Coke this evening,’” he said.

“You begin to wonder if you will buy Coke in the future. You go on local TV and show the cool rat head. Coca-Cola has a very large problem worldwide. It damages the brand,” Norquist added.

Americans for Tax Reform created the Taxpayer Protection Pledge which opposes “any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses,” and “any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”

In the 113th Congress, 219 congressmen and women and 39 senators have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. On the State level 1,037 state legislators and 14 governors have signed the state government version of the pledge.