Harry Reid: Grover Norquist is leading GOP members ‘like puppets’


By Kathleen Hennessey
Washington Bureau
November 1, 2011, 3:06 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Republicans are being “led like puppets by Grover Norquist,” the anti-tax activist and keeper of a pledge that binds nearly all Republican lawmakers to a promise not to raise taxes.

Reid made the remark to reporters Tuesday as he complained about Republicans’ refusal to raise taxes to pay for the president’s jobs bill or to lower the deficit.

As the fight over the deficit intensifies, and a deadline for a super committee deal nears, Norquist has increasingly become a punching bag on Capitol Hill. One outside group — Constitutional Accountability Center — has dubbed the longtime GOP figure “Gridlock Grover.” Democrats have ramped up attacks portraying Republicans as swearing loyalty to Norquist rather than voters.

“He is their leader,” Reid said.

Norquist responded via Twitter to Reid’s remark:

“Harry Reid should read the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. It is a written promise by legislators to their voters. Not to ATR or me,” he said.