POLITICS
02/20/2013 11:59 pm ET

Grover Norquist Criticizes Bob McDonnell For Transportation Deal

Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist had harsh words for Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) on Wednesday over a bipartisan agreement on transportation.

In an interview with NBC 12's Ryan Nobles, the anti-tax advocate said that McDonnell's support for the Virginia transportation deal, which will overhaul funding for the state's infrastructure, may hurt him politically.

"If the governor continues to push a tax increase in Virginia what party would he run for president for?" Norquist asked, referencing speculation about the Republican governor's political future.

The proposed transportation bill will increase the sales tax from 5 percent to 5.3 percent, and diverts more of that revenue to transportation funding. The measure would also eliminate the state's gasoline tax, which is currently 17.5 cents per gallon.

"The bipartisan failure to address our transportation needs for almost three decades has cost every citizen of this state thousands of dollars, and countless hours of time that could have been spent at home and at work," McDonnell said in a Wednesday statement. "This year, we have finally worked together, across party and regional lines, to fix this quality of life issue."

Norquist told Nobles that McDonnell's support for the measure would not sit well with Republicans, particularly with GOP governors like Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Sam Brownback of Kansas looking to eliminate their states' income taxes.

"Virginia's raising taxes? You don't get to run for president as a Republican with 30 Republicans governors most of whom [are cutting taxes]... I don't think you can compete with that."

Watch NBC12's full interview with Norquist above.

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