Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist says that President Barack Obama did not win re-election because of his promise to raise taxes on the wealthy, but it was because attack ads made voters thing that Mitt Romney was a "poopy-head."
During a Monday interview on CBS, Norquist suggested that Republicans had a mandate not to raise taxes, even it meant going off the so-called "fiscal cliff."
"The House of Representatives was elected, committed to keeping taxes low," the Americans for Tax Reform president explained. "The president was elected on the basis that he was not Romney and that Romney was a poopy-head and you should vote against Romney. And he won by two points. But he didn't make the case that we should have higher taxes and higher spending, he kind of sounded like the opposite."
"Well, I'm not sure that's what the president called Mitt Romney," CBS host Norah O'Donnell pointed out. "The debate that was had -- and I listened very closely to it -- he said very clearly throughout the debate that the wealthiest Americans should pay more. And he won eight of the nine battleground states. And Republicans failed to reclaim the White House or the Senate. What about the exit polls that show a broad support on raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans? Are you wrong?"
"Again, you saw those ads that suggested Romney gave people cancer in Ohio for months and months unanswered," Norquist insisted. "You can trash an individual and get them to vote against him. Again where we have an election, there are 30 Republican governors, okay? And they're running campaigns against raising taxes and in favor of, frankly, phasing out the income tax in North Carolina and Kansas and Oklahoma."
O'Donnell pointed out that even House Speaker John Boehner had said that Republicans were willing to accept new revenue as part of a compromise.
"In 2011, Obama said the world would end and we should pass around smelling salts because he wanted to raise the debt ceiling," Norquist opined. "We got a debt ceiling agreement. It was a great compromise. We cut spending. We didn't raise taxes. We didn't cut spending as much as the Republicans wanted. The [Paul] Ryan plan would have reduced Obama's overspending by $6 trillion, we only got two and a half trillion in restraint."
"That's a compromise, it's not as much as the Republicans wanted. The Republicans have already compromised."
In exit polls released on Tuesday, six in ten voters said they supported raising taxes. Almost half wanted to see tax hikes specifically on those making more than $250,000 a year.
“On this particular issue, it wasn’t close,” Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod told CBS News on Sunday.
“You need new revenues, and every objective person who has looked at this agrees on that, so the question is where is that revenue going to come from?” he pointed out. “The president believes it is more equitable to get that from the wealthiest Americans who have done very well and frankly don’t need those tax cuts and who benefited disproportionately from the tax cuts in the last decade. Most Americans agree with that.”