Marco Rubio Vows Never to Raise Taxes as President

The move could put fellow Floridian mentor-turned-rival Jeb Bush in a difficult position in the brewing 2016 presidential contest.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican and U.S. presidential candidate, speaks during the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition presidential forum at Point of Grace Church in Waukee, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, April 25, 2015. Declared and undeclared Republican presidential candidates descended on Iowa for the event.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has signed conservative activist Grover Norquist's pledge to oppose and veto "any and all" tax increases if elected president, he announced Wednesday on Twitter.

Rubio follows fellow Republican nomination aspirants Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, both of whom signed the pledge last week. His move could put fellow Floridian mentor-turned-rival Jeb Bush in a difficult position in the brewing 2016 presidential contest.

The issue promises to be a flashpoint in the debates where candidates will compete for the support of passionate, engaged conservatives who universally despise taxes and swarm the voting booths in Republican primaries.

While the pledge has become a way for conservatives to polish their credentials, it is tricky for Republican presidents because it precludes raising net revenue even by closing tax deductions and loopholes. George W. Bush adopted the pledge ahead of the 2000 election but couldn't quite adhere to it throughout his administration. George H.W. Bush famously promised "no new taxes" before signing a large tax increase into law. Even Ronald Reagan enacted numerous tax-hiking bills.

The third Bush vying to be president is now confronted with the prospect of making a promise that neither his brother nor father were able to keep.

The Taxpayer Protection Pledge reads: "I, _____, pledge to the taxpayers of the (____district of the) state of ______ and to the American people that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates."

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