Read my lips: no new taxes

no new taxescampaign promise not to raise taxesraise taxesRead my lips1990 tax hikea 1988 campaign promisebroken promisebushlipscampaign promisehis promise not to raise taxes
"Read my lips: no new taxes" is a phrase spoken by then-American presidential candidate George H. W. Bush at the 1988 Republican National Convention as he accepted the nomination on August 18.wikipedia
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George H. W. Bush

George H.W. BushBushGeorge Bush
"Read my lips: no new taxes" is a phrase spoken by then-American presidential candidate George H. W. Bush at the 1988 Republican National Convention as he accepted the nomination on August 18.
Domestically, Bush reneged on a 1988 campaign promise by signing a bill that increased taxes and helped reduce the federal budget deficit.

1992 United States presidential election

19921992 presidential electionPresident
In the 1992 presidential election campaign, Pat Buchanan repeatedly cited the pledge as an example of a broken promise in his unsuccessful challenge to Bush in the Republican primaries.
Bush had alienated many of the conservatives in his party by breaking his 1988 campaign pledge against raising taxes, but he fended off a primary challenge from conservative commentator Pat Buchanan.

1988 United States presidential election

19881988 presidential election1988 election
The impact of the election promise was considerable, and many supporters of Bush believe it helped Bush win the 1988 presidential election.
In his acceptance speech, Bush made the pledge "Read my lips: No new taxes", a comment that would come to haunt him constantly as the economy collapsed in early to mid 1990, which contributed to his loss in the 1992 election.

Election promise

campaign promisepolitical manifestocampaign pledge
The impact of the election promise was considerable, and many supporters of Bush believe it helped Bush win the 1988 presidential election.

Peggy Noonan

Noonan, Peggy
Written by speechwriter Peggy Noonan, the line was the most prominent sound bite from the speech.
Noonan also wrote Bush's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in New Orleans, in which he pledged: "Read my lips: no new taxes".

1988 Republican National Convention

1988Republican National Convention1988 Republican convention
"Read my lips: no new taxes" is a phrase spoken by then-American presidential candidate George H. W. Bush at the 1988 Republican National Convention as he accepted the nomination on August 18.
Written by Peggy Noonan and Craig R. Smith, it included the "read my lips: no new taxes" pledge that was the most popular sound bite coming out of the convention.

Bill Clinton

ClintonPresident ClintonPresident Bill Clinton
In the general election, Democratic nominee Bill Clinton, running as a moderate, also cited the quotation and questioned Bush's trustworthiness.
When Bush compromised with Democrats to try to lower Federal deficits, he reneged on his promise not to raise taxes, which hurt his approval rating.

Sound bite

soundbitesound bitessoundbites
Written by speechwriter Peggy Noonan, the line was the most prominent sound bite from the speech.

Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990

1990budget agreementOmnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
Bush agreed to a compromise, which increased several existing taxes as part of a 1990 budget agreement.
The Act was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush on November 5, 1990, counter to his 1988 campaign promise not to raise taxes.

Richard Darman

Richard G. DarmanDick Darman
The most prominent critic was economic adviser Richard Darman, who crossed the phrase out on an initial draft calling it "stupid and dangerous."
Darman was regarded as provocative and intelligent by Washington insiders but was criticized by some economists for being too focused on the budget deficit and was sometimes blamed for convincing Bush to renege on his promise of "Read my lips: No new taxes," which is widely believed to have contributed to Bush's defeat in the election of 1992.

Early 1990s recession

recessionlate 1980s recessioneconomic recession
Instead, a recession began.
Bush initially enjoyed great popularity after the successful Persian Gulf War, but this soon wore off as the recession worsened; his 1992 re-election bid was particularly hampered by his 1990 decision to renege on his "Read my lips: no new taxes" pledge made during his first campaign in 1988.

John H. Sununu

John SununuGovernor SununuJohn Henry Sununu
Richard Darman, who had been appointed head of the Office of Management and Budget, and White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu both felt such a compromise was necessary.
Sununu is considered to have engineered Bush's mid-term abandonment of his 1988 campaign promise of "no new taxes".

1990 United States federal government shutdown

1990United States federal government shutdown of 1990
The shutdown stemmed from the fact that a deficit reduction package negotiated by President George H. W. Bush contained tax increases, despite his campaign promise of "read my lips: no new taxes", leading to a revolt led by House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich that defeated the initial appropriations package.

Democratic Party (United States)

DemocraticDemocratDemocratic Party
Although he did oppose the creation of new taxes as president, the Democratic-controlled Congress proposed increases of existing taxes as a way to reduce the national budget deficit.

United States Senate

U.S. SenatorUnited States SenatorU.S. Senate
Bush negotiated with Congress for a budget that met his pledge, but was unable to make a deal with a Senate and House that was controlled by the opposing Democrats.

United States House of Representatives

U.S. RepresentativeU.S. House of RepresentativesUnited States Representative
Bush negotiated with Congress for a budget that met his pledge, but was unable to make a deal with a Senate and House that was controlled by the opposing Democrats.

Pat Buchanan

Patrick J. BuchananBuchananBuchanan, Pat
In the 1992 presidential election campaign, Pat Buchanan repeatedly cited the pledge as an example of a broken promise in his unsuccessful challenge to Bush in the Republican primaries.

Primary election

primaryprimariesopen primary
In the 1992 presidential election campaign, Pat Buchanan repeatedly cited the pledge as an example of a broken promise in his unsuccessful challenge to Bush in the Republican primaries.

Walter Mondale

Walter F. MondaleMondaleMondale, Walter
Responding to Walter Mondale's admission that if he were elected taxes would likely be raised, Bush also implied that tax increases might be necessary in the next four years.

Grover Norquist

Grover G. NorquistGrover Norquist pledge
Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, had created a no-new-taxes pledge and was encouraging Republican candidates to sign it.

Americans for Tax Reform

Taxpayer Protection PledgeInternational Property Rights IndexProperty Rights Alliance
Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, had created a no-new-taxes pledge and was encouraging Republican candidates to sign it.

Jack Kemp

KempJack F. KempJack French Kemp
A large number of congressional candidates signed, as did Bush's primary rivals Jack Kemp and Pete du Pont.

Pete du Pont

Pierre S. du Pont, IVPierre S. du Pont IVPete DuPont
A large number of congressional candidates signed, as did Bush's primary rivals Jack Kemp and Pete du Pont.