Hayworth: I Didn’t Sign That Pledge For Grover Norquist (Updated)
ICYMI: During a CapTon interview last night – likely her last as a (currently) sitting congresswoman (more on that later), Rep. Nan Hayworth refused to rule out the possibility that she might vote “yes” on a fiscal cliff deal that includes increasing taxes on the rich – pledge or no pledge.
And about that pledge…Hayworth was quite clear that she does not consider herself beholden to its creator, Grover Norquist, but rather to the constituents of the district she represents (currently NY-19).
“Point of clarification, because it is important,” Hayworth told me when I brought up the pledge. “…Certainly I can speak for myself, I didn’t sign that pledge for Grover Norquist. I signed it because I truly believe that it was the right thing, and I still believe that, for the people I serve and for our nation.”
“Raising taxes is not the approach we should be taking. It’s not the best approach. There may be that some form of tax increases becomes the lesser of two evils if you will.”
When pressed, Hayworth said she will continue to oppose tax increases “as a matter of principle and sound policy,” but also qualified: “I will certainly do all I can to prevent the nation encountering that fiscal cliff.”
Hayworth avoided the sort of tortured logic employed by her fellow GOP freshman, Rep. Chris Gibson. To be fair, however, she was very pragmatic (dare I say, political?) in answering the question and, unlike Gibson, didn’t come out and say: I no longer consider the pledge viable.
UPDATE: Hayworth will be the subject of a demonstration in the Hudson Valley tomorrow. Activists who want her to “end tax breaks for the wealthy” plan to drop a banner saying as much on I-84 at 11 a.m. (N Road, Route 9D; Beacon). This is just one of a host of fiscal cliff-related actions planned for the weekend by labor unions, community groups, faith coalitions, progressive networks and student activists, targeting GOP House members across New York.
Also on the list are Reps. Michael Grimm (on the Staten Island Ferry), Gibson (at the Kingston Farmers Market), Tom Reed (on Market Street in Corning), and Richard Hanna (in Binghamton).
As noted earlier today by The Politicker, Hayworth also hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a return to politics, saying she will “welcome opportunities wherever they come.”
POLITICO reported earlier this week that Hayworth does not plan on fully departing the public sphere when her term ends at the end of next month. She’s also entertaining some “media possibilities,” but assured me last night that none of those involve direct competition with CapTon. Phew.
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