On Wednesday night’s Mark Levin show, the popular conservative radio host and public-interest lawyer ripped into anti-tax lobbyist Grover Norquist for arguing that letting talk-radio hosts moderate Republican debates was a bad idea.
Having conservative talk radio hosts Mark Levin or Rush Limbaugh host debates would be “not useful,” Norquist told The Hill newspaper. Talk radio hosts, he said, are primarily entertainers who would draw attention away from the candidates themselves. “This is a conservative leader who has nothing but contempt for you,” Levin told his audience.
The Hill said Norquist added “the radio hosts, despite their popularity, did not necessarily represent the Republican mainstream. He pointed toward immigration reform as an example, saying that while Levin opposes comprehensive immigration reform fiercely, polls show most Republicans are amenable to it.”
Levin was upset to be dismissed as an “entertainer” while Norquist ignores all his legal work over the last 25 years. (The talk show is a second job, in reality.) He responded by suggesting Norquist was neither conservative nor effective:
I would love to know what Grover Norquist has accomplished, other than running around with pledges. I have no idea what this Americans for Tax Reform does, what it accomplishes. I see taxes going up, I see spending going up, I don’t know what they do. But somehow now, Grover Norquist is now an expert on immigration, on affairs with Muslims. Oh, I think he’s also in favor of same-sex marriage...and he’s a conservative leader? How so?
This guy’s no conservative. He’s a K Street operator, and has been for a long time. Maybe somebody from CAIR should be doing the questioning, huh, Grover? Would you prefer that?
Levin called Norquist a "dummy" because Levin believes that radio hosts are never going to be considered as moderators. (RNC chairman Reince Priebus called it "a very good idea.") Levin went to commercial after concluding “I have to conclude that it’s Grover Norquist who’s the entertainer, and not a very good one. I think we call entertainers like this ‘clowns.’”