Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.), a candidate for the presidency of the United States, has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people. The pledge is a written commitment to the American people to “oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.”
Governor Christie has consistently vetoed $1.6 billion in annual tax hikes passed by the Democrat-run legislature. Their attempt to create a new top tax bracket of 10.75 percent has been included in each of the five budgets sent to Christie. Democrats also sought to impose a 15 percent corporate tax surcharge in each of the last two budgets. Each time, the Governor's veto pen has been the only thing standing in the way of those taxes passing in the Garden State.
“Governor Chris Christie has vetoed more tax hikes than any other Governor in modern American history,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “And he made those vetoes stick. Without the Christie governorship, New Jersey would be somewhere between Detroit and Greece.”
Though the 2016 nomination contest is just getting underway, most of the GOP candidates have already made a written commitment to the American people that they will oppose and veto any tax increase in the event they are elected to the White House. These candidates include Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, Dr. Ben Carson, and Mike Huckabee.
“By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people, Governor Christie continues his commitment to protect American taxpayers,” said Norquist. “Governor Christie understands that government should be reformed so that it takes and spends less of the taxpayers’ money, and will oppose tax increases that paper over and continue the failures of the past."
ATR has shared the Pledge with all candidates for federal office since 1986. In the 114th Congress, 49 U.S. Senators and 218 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge. Pledge signers include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, and GOP Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan are also pledge signers. On the state level, 13 incumbent governors and approximately 1,000 incumbent state legislators have signed the Pledge.
In 2012, all candidates for the Republican nomination for president signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, with the lone exception of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. Huntsman finished seventh in Iowa and third in New Hampshire before dropping out of the race.