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Pledge cleaner

Gazette staff December 5th, 2012

Lyndon Johnson once remarked that he knew he’d lost Middle America’s support for the Vietnam War when he lost the support of CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite.

Credit: Brad Gregg

Perhaps the same can be said about congressional Republicans and the antitax pledge pushed by activist Grover Norquist now that U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, has said it’s time to cut a budget deal with President Obama and avoid the fiscal cliff.

In an interview last week with Politico, Cole confirmed that he urged fellow House Republicans to accept a deal that would extend the Bush tax cuts to all but the top 2 percent of earners and save that issue for the future.

Cole’s positioning away from Norquist rigidness caught the attention of Beltway observers since he’s no slouch when it comes to conservative bona fides. A former chairman of the National Republican Congressional committee, he has long been regarded as a top tactician for the GOP.

Chicken-Fried News can’t say whether Norquist has been naughty or nice this year (we’re fair and balanced, doncha know), but it looks like someone dumped a lump of Cole in his stocking.

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