Mark Ambinder interprets Grover Norquist’s praise of Rudy Giuliani as a “Non-Endorsement Endorsement” that’s “as close [to] an endorsement as you’ll get from Mr. Norquist.”
Ambinder’s reading way too much into this. Over pre-dinner cocktails at the AmSpec 40th Anniversary Dinner last month, Ramesh Ponnuru and I were chatting with Norquist about how lots of people interpreted it as an endorsement when Norquist introduced Mitt Romney at CPAC. Nope, said Grover; it was just that Romney was the first to sign the Americans for Tax Reform no-tax-hikes pledge, and he wanted to reward him for doing so. The Norquist letter to Giuliani, and his follow-up comments to Ambinder, are just more of the same: Giuliani promised in the YouTube debate, for the first time, that he’d never raise taxes; Norquist rewarded him with praise. The ATR mission is to get politicians to commit to not raising taxes, and they do their best to make that commitment politically valuable. It’s as simple as that.
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