Sometimes, he said, he has to yank a wandering leader back into line, as he said he did with Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) in May. Kyl publicly ruled out raising tax rates to bring in revenue, which was interpreted by some observers as leaving the door open to a variety of tax increases that wouldn’t involve rate changes.
“So, I call Kyl. ‘What did you say? What did you mean? How can we work together on this?’” Norquist said, adopting the tone of a teacher scolding a second grader as he recalled the conversation.
“Yes, I said rates,” Kyl said, as Norquist recalled.
“And then,” Norquist said, “he went down on the floor, and he gave a colloquy about how we’re against any tax increases of any sort. Boom!”
Kyl, a longtime proponent of lower taxes, didn’t have a comment, his office said.