Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., is the latest high-profile Republican to back away from Grover Norquist and his pledge not to raise taxes.
“I’m not obligated on the pledge,” Corker told Charlie Rose on CBS on Monday. “I made Tennesseans aware, I was just elected, the only thing I’m honoring is the oath I take when I serve, when I’m sworn in this January.”
Corker joins a number of other Republicans who have indicated they would consider bending on the pledge to prevent a set of automatic cuts from taking effect should budget negotiations fail.
“I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge,” Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., told a local Georgia news station. “If we do it his way then we’ll continue in debt, and I just have a disagreement with him about that.”
“I will violate the pledge, long story short, for the good of the country, only if Democrats will do entitlement reform,’’ Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., agreed: “A pledge you signed 20 years ago, 18 years ago, is for that Congress,” he said on “Meet the Press.” “For instance, if I were in Congress in 1941, I would have supported a declaration of war against Japan. I’m not going to attack Japan today.”
Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., have similarly distanced themselves from Norquist.