Republican Senator Rebukes Norquist: ‘I’m Not Obligated On The Pledge’

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) is out with a new plan he says could help the nation avert the fiscal cliff and raise over a trillion dollars in new revenue by capping deductions, implementing “a chained consumer price index,” partially privatizing Medicare and raising the retirement age.

During an appearance on CBS This Morning, Corker indicated that he is flexible on raising marginal tax rates and joined a growing number of Republicans who have publicly broken from Grover Norquist’s no-tax pledge:

CHARLIE ROSE (HOST): Are you prepared, as others are doing, to sort of say, ‘I’m going to forgo the pledge because it is outdated and the country’s problems are too big?’

CORKER: Well, I’m not obligated on the pledge. I made Tennesseans aware, I was just elected, that the only thing I’m honoring is the oath I take when I’m sworn in this January. […]

NORAH O’DONNELL (HOST): Let me ask you. Would you be willing to also raise the capital gains rate?

CORKER: You know, I’m not — I’m not the negotiator sitting at the table. I’m open to solving this problem, and what I’ve done, Norah, in a 242-page bill is showboat the White House and Republican negotiators that this technically is very easy to do.

Watch it:

Over the weekend, Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) both backed away from Norquist’s pledge — which rejects any tax increase — joining long-term opponent Rep. Peter King (R-NY).

Norquist appeared on CNN’s Starting Point Monday morning and denied that any Republicans had defected from his pledge. “No Republican has voted for a tax increase,” he said. “We’ve got some people discussing impure thoughts on national television.”