At a meeting of the House GOP whip team earlier in the day, he made the case that Republicans would strengthen their position by joining hands with President Barack Obama now to give most taxpayers what he calls “an early Christmas present” of ensuring their taxes don’t go up on Jan. 1.
Cole’s position is striking because he’s hardly a “squish” — Norquist’s term for a weak-kneed lawmaker — when it comes to Republican orthodoxy. Cole served as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee and in other official posts within the party. [...]
“I think we ought to take the 98 percent deal right now,” he said of freezing income tax rates for all but the top 2 percent of earners. “It doesn’t mean I agree with raising the top 2. I don’t. Instead, he told POLITICO, Republicans should fight the president over tax rates for the top earners after everyone else is taken care of.
The Senate passed legislation maintaining Bush’s tax cuts for all but the top 2 percent of income earners in July and Obama has urged the GOP-controlled House to support the bill.