Don’t look now, but there’s a sanity virus quickly spreading among Republicans on Capital Hill. Some of them are talking about ditching their pledge to Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquists’s outfit.
Sen. John McCain, meanwhile, is saying the GOP ought to quit talking about abortion rights during their campaigns, because that only gets them in trouble (Rep. Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, anyone?).
Here are the highlights:
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Georgia: “I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge. . . If we do it [Grover Norquist's] way, then we’ll continue in debt, and I just have a disagreement with him about that . . . But I don’t worry about that because I care too much about my country. I care a lot more about it than I do Grover Norquist.”
Rep. Peter King, R-New York: “I agree entirely with Saxby Chambliss. A pledge you signed 20 years ago, 18 years ago, is for that Congress. For instance, if I were in Congress in 1941, I would have signed a declaration of war against Japan. I’m not going to attack Japan today. The world has changed, and the economic situation is different.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina: ““I love being a senator and I want to be a senator that matters for the state of South Carolina and the country,” Graham replied. “When you’re $16 trillion in debt, the only pledge we should be making to each other is to avoid becoming Greece. And Republicans should put revenue on the table. We’re this far in debt, we don’t generate enough revenue.” (He wants to do it by capping deductions, though, not raising tax rates).
Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona: “As far as young women are concerned, absolutely, I don’t think anybody like me — I can state my position on abortion, but, other than that, leave the issue alone, when we are in the kind of economic situation and, frankly, national security situation we’re in. . .I would allow people to have those opinions … I’m proud of my pro-life position and record and if someone disagrees with me, I respect your views.”
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee: “I’m not obligated on [Norquist's] pledge. I made Tennesseans aware I was just elected that the only thing I’m honoring is the oath I take when I’m sworn in this January.”