Question: What should be the big issues of the 2008 presidential election?
Grover Norquist: I think the ultimate question is which direction do you want to go in terms of more or less liberty? Higher taxes or lower taxes? The Republican party will run on one or two significant tax cuts – the _____, expanding IRAs, 401ks. I’m not sure exactly what it will be. We’ll see. It’ll emerge over the next year. The Democrats have spent the last year putting up 38,000 secret earmarks, exploding spending by about a trillion dollars beyond what anyone had expected. And so our goal will be to have the election be about the Democrats’ plans to raise your taxes, the Republicans’ plans to cut them.
The Democrats plan to dramatically increase spending, and I hope the Republican plans to cut spending; but at a minimum not to spend as crazy as them. And even in 2006 where the Republicans had many failures on the spending restraint front, the average Republican co-sponsored bills to spend an additional $14 billion, and the average Democrat had co-sponsored bills to spend another $400 billion. It was almost a 10-to-1 ratio; 40-to-1 ratio on more spending by Ds.
That was obscured by the president’s focus on Iraq. So not just that some people had questions about the wisdom of the invasion and occupation of Iraq and how long it should go on; but a president unable to talk about core Republican issues was unable to move those forward. Now if Bush wants to talk about Iraq for the next year and a half, and the emerging Republican candidate for president can talk about America, then you can have a division of labor that works for the 2008 election.
Recorded on: September 12, 2007