As a Congressional "super committee" tasked with cutting the deficit on the verge of failure, anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist insisted in a series of interviews Monday that it wasn't his fault.
Norquist told CNN's Carol Costello that Republicans were willing to "compromise" with Democrats as long as additional tax revenues were off the table.
At least 279 Republican members of the current Congress have signed Norquist's pledge to never raise taxes.
"So, you sign the pledge as a Republican member of the super committee and you're supposed to negotiate with the other side... How can you possibly effectively negotiate?" Costello asked.
"Of course, you can," Norquist declared. "Democrats want higher taxes, that's off the table and it's been off the table for a year."
"There has been a massive compromise. Republicans, as you know, passed the Paul Ryan legislation, which is a $6-trillion reduction in Obama's $10-trillion increase in the debt. ... The agreement that Reid, Pelosi and the Republicans came to in August was not the $6 trillion that Republicans wanted to save taxpayers, but only two and a half trillion."
"What if the Democrats signed a pledge never, ever to cut entitlements?" Costello pressed. "Would that be a great negotiating tool on the super committee?"
"Well, a number of them have made just that commitment to the trial lawyers, the labor unions and the big-city political machines, promising not to cut spending," Norquist replied.
Appearing on Fox News earlier in the morning, Norquist declared that Democrats wanted the "peasants to send more in so that the king can keep spending as he has become accustom."
"No Republican in Congress has voted for an income tax increase since 1990," he boasted to Fox News host Steve Doocy. "That's a long time for the Republican Party to say, 'We do many things, raising taxes is not one of them.'"
"Republicans are not going to walk into that room again, as we're seeing, and they're not going to be fooled to raise taxes in return for promises of spending restraint."
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) told CNN Monday that Democrats had offered $1.3 trillion in cuts and $1.3 trillion in new revenue over ten years and Republicans on the committee refused.
"But unfortunately, this thing about the Bush tax cuts and the pledge to Grover Norquist keeps coming up," Kerry said. "Grover Norquist has been the 13th member of this committee without being there. I can't tell you how many times we hear about 'the pledge, the pledge.'"