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Cruz, Paul Sign Norquist's Anti-Tax Pledge

Their position contrasts with that of Jeb Bush who has said he wouldn't sign it.
Image: Rand Paul
Sen., Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaks to employees during a visit to Dyn, an internet performance company, Friday, March 20, 2015, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)Jim Cole / AP
/ Source: NBC News

Both Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have been in the presidential race for less than a month and both announced Friday that they signed a storied pledge vowing not to raise taxes. Their position contrasts with that of Jeb Bush who has said he wouldn't sign it.

The pledge, which dates back to 1986 and founded by anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist, has long been a fixture in Republican political campaigns but has also caused some candidates problems once in office.

"My record supporting tax cuts is clear, and I am pleased to be able to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge again as a candidate for president so taxpayers can be assured that I will do what I say I will do,” Cruz wrote in a statement.

Norquist praised both Paul and Cruz as being champions for taxpayers.

The only other Republican candidate in the race, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, has not yet signed the pledge. He did sign it when he was running for the senate in 2009.

Cruz and Paul’s signatures is an(other) area where they have separated themselves from Bush. Bush’s spokesperson, Kristy Campbell, told ABC News in February, "If Governor Bush decides to move forward, he will not sign any pledges circulated by lobbying groups.”

While many Republicans sign it at both the state and federal level, Bush didn’t sign it as governor of Florida either.

As president, his father, George H.W. Bush, raised taxes after pledging during his campaign that he wouldn’t. He lost his re-election to Bill Clinton.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has also never signed it but Americans for Tax Reform, Norquist's organization, says that Christie gave and kept a verbal commitment to follow it.

Governors Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry have all signed and kept the pledge, according to Americans for Tax Reform.