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Bush 41: 'Who the hell is Grover Norquist anyway?'

Former President George H.W. Bush isn't crazy about "no new taxes" promises in 2012. And he's not thrilled with the Washington enforcer holding politicians to that pledge either.

"The rigidity of those pledges is something I don't like," the 41st president of the United States told PARADE magazine in an interview. "The circumstances change and you can't be wedded to some formula by Grover Norquist."

He added: "It's-who the hell is Grover Norquist, anyway?"

Grover Norquist is the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform. He has received a great deal of attention as the driving force behind the "Taxpayer Protection Pledge," which in the 112th Congress 238 House members and 41 senators have signed - including three Democrats. The group estimates 98 percent of House Republicans and 85 percent of GOP members in the Senate have signed the Pledge.

Bush knows a thing or two about tax pledges. He delivered the famous line, "Read my lips: no new taxes," at the 1988 GOP convention. Then in 1990, Bush increased taxes as part of a broader budget deal. Then during the 1992 campaign, he called breaking his pledge a mistake. Americans for Tax Reform notes the former president regretted ignoring his own tax pledge.

 

Mike Emanuel currently serves as chief congressional correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC). He joined FNC in 1997 as a Los Angeles-based correspondent.

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