Tax-reduction champion Grover Norquist sounded optimistic this weekend that Republicans would be able to convince President Barack Obama to allow an extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
As leaders from both parties negotiate an agreement to avoid going over the "fiscal cliff," the founder and president of Americans For Tax Reform told Newsmax he believes Obama is unfriendly to Republicans who want to work to maintain the current tax rates for top income-earners.
“Obama has gotten to be old and he has grey hair and he has never sat down and civilly talked to people who don’t agree with him in his life,” he said. "He is not used to being in the room with people who don’t say ‘Yes sir, I agree with you on everything.’ It’s not easy for him even if he wants to do it.”
Obama suggested last week that most Americans agreed with him on raising taxes on wealthier Americans, a point he said was evidenced by his reelection. Obama also stated that he was wasn't "wedded to every detail" of his plan, a comment that some have seen as a suggestion that the president is willing compromise on some aspects of the deal on taxes and spending.
Norquist argued about the election's significance on Monday morning, saying that Republican losses last week did not reflect support for Obama's campaign principle of allowing taxes on top income-earners to be raised. Instead, Norquist said, the president had secured reelection purely on personal attacks against GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
"The president was committed; elected on the basis that he was not Romney and Romney was a poopy head and you should vote against Romney and he won by two points," Norquist said on CBS' "This Morning" Monday. "But he didn't make the case that we should have higher taxes and higher spending, he kind of sounded like the opposite."
In his interview with Newsmax, Norquist said Republicans had lost the presidential election instead because they'd failed to reach out minorities, who were shown to have voted for Obama in large numbers. He included in his comments an offhand suggestion that individuals who attended public schools don't actually "understand America."
“We need to reach out and win the Hispanic vote, and Indian-American vote, and Asian-American vote, and the immigrant vote, because these are people who chose to come to our country," Norquist said. "They understand America better than some people who were born here and never understood it because they went to public schools.