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Norquist Calls Nevada Governor A “Rat”

Republican-on-Republican attacks over taxes.

Cliff Owen / AP

Sandoval in Washington last month.

The conservative organizer and anti-tax leader Grover Norquist raised eyebrows at a conservative gathering in New York last night for the invective he directed at Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, a Republican.

Norquist, the longtime president of Americans for Tax Reform, labeled Sandoval a “rat” for cutting a deal last year with his state legislature to extend 2009 tax increases he’d promised to end, a participant at the monthly Monday Meeting, an influential conservative gathering in New York, told BuzzFeed.

On the same grounds, Norquist dismissed the notion that Sandoval, a popular moderate Hispanic Republic in a swing state, could be Romney’s running mate, the source said.

Norquist spokesman John Kartch didn’t respond directly to a question about the “rat” comment, but said in an email: “What he did say was Sandoval refused to take the pledge in writing and did raise taxes.”

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