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Andrea Mitchell Praises Bush 41 for Breaking ‘No New Taxes’ Pledge: It Showed ‘Character’ and ‘Resolve’

‘That created the momentum, economically, that Bill Clinton inherited and built upon’

CHUCK TODD: Back now with End Game and discussing the legacy of President Bush. You can’t talk about Bush 41 politically without talking about the most-famous broken campaign promise, perhaps, in modern American history. Here it is.


PRES. GEORGE H. W. BUSH: Congress will push me to raise taxes. And I’ll say, “No.” And they’ll push. And I’ll say, “No.” And they’ll push again. And I’ll say to them, “Read my lips. No new taxes.”


CHUCK TODD: He broke the pledge in 1990. Four years later, Newt Gingrich is speaker of the house. The Republican Party — it is the seminal moment, you could argue, in the shift of the Republican Party from where it was then to where it is today.

ANDREA MITCHELL: But economically, breaking that pledge showed the character and resolve of the man to do what he was persuaded was the right thing to do, economically, even though he knew, at the time, that it might guarantee that he would be a one-term president. And having covered those budget negotiations at Andrews Air Force Base, you know, we had Bob Dole and George Mitchell and everyone arguing that you needed to do it. And in fact, the budget restrictions, the so-called PAYGO rules, that required that, if you were going to spend money, you’ve got to raise it in the budget, that created the momentum, economically, that Bill Clinton inherited and built upon with his ‘93 brave votes without a Republican vote. And even into the George W. Bush presidency, we had economic growth.

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