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In this Feb. 19, 2010 file photo, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist jokes around as he is introduced prior to addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington. For two decades, Norquist has been the driving force in pushing the Republican Party toward an ever-more rigid position of opposing any tax increase, of any kind, at any time.

Cliff Owen, Associated Press

Norquist says a compromise won't fly

  • July 9, 2011 - 5:14 PM

If the Democrats say it's the Republicans who won't compromise on Minnesota's week-old state government shutdown, Grover Norquist, president of the influential Americans for Tax Reform, lays the blame squarely on DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.

"The guy who vetoed a budget which funded almost all of state government and didn't give him his hate-and-envy tax increase, and didn't give him as much money as he wanted to spend -- more than the world has ever seen Minnesota spend in the history of Western Civilization - that is the fanatic," Norquist told Hot Dish.

Norquist, the anti-tax guru and conservative icon, also has little use for the bipartisan "third-way" group formed by former Gov. Arne Carlson and former Vice President Walter Mondale to forge a compromise.

"Your governor, just like Obama, wants to set up a phony, bipartisan commission so that liberal Republicans can announce they want tax increases and isn't that the terribly reasonable, moderate thing to do," he continued.

"Something somebody might want to mention to Dayton is it didn't work for Obama because nobody took seriously the little commission."

As for compromise: "Democrats want to spend more; Republicans want to spend less," Norquist said. "What would a compromise look like? If you spend more, the Democrats just won ... Spending more and raising taxes a little is not a compromise, it's called losing."

Finally, where some observers see polarization in the political arena, Norquist sees clarity.

"Obama wants to raise taxes and spend more money, and the Republicans want to spend less and lower taxes," he said. "That's clarity, that's not polarization."

KEVIN DIAZ

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