The Washington Times - November 3, 2011, 02:32PM

Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist is praised by some as a hero of fiscal conservatism and vilified by others as an unreasonable ideologue who wields unhealthy power within the GOP.

But to House Speaker John A. Boehner, the anti-tax advocate is just a “random American.” 


During Mr. Boehner’s weekly media briefing at the Capitol on Thursday, a reporter asked the Ohio Republican if Mr. Norquist holds a positive influence among House Republicans.

“It’s not often I’m asked about some random person in America and what I think,” said Mr. Boehner facetiously, which generated chuckles among the press corps. 

“Grover Norquist a random person?” the reporter asked.

“Listen, our conference is opposed to tax hikes because we believe that tax hikes will hurt our economy and put Americans out of work,” Mr. Boehner said.

All but four of the 242 House Republicans, and 41 out of the 47 Senate Republicans, have signed Mr. Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.”

Lawmakers who sign the document promise to “oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”

Signers also pledge to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business.”