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'Random person' Norquist to huddle with GOP lawmakers

 

The "random person" House Speaker John Boehner dismissed for his lack of influence over congressional Repulicans will be on Capitol Hill Thursday to speak to GOP lawmakers on messaging skills.

Grover Norquist, the Americans for Tax Reform president blamed by Democrats for helping scuttle a supercommittee deal this month, will address the House GOP "Theme Team" this week. Norquist is the same person whom Boehner called a "random person" earlier this month.

The "Theme Team" is a group of House GOP lawmakers that meet weekly to work on messaging skills and to discuss what they'll say in "One minute" speeches on the floor of the House. "One minutes" occur when the Speaker allows the floor to be open for members to say whatever they like.

In the past, members would use these speeches to talk about local issues or do mundane things like congratulate sports teams. Over the last decade, the "Theme Team" uses the speeches to focus on specific issues and drive GOP talking points.

A GOP aide close to the "Theme Team" tells NBC News that Norquist is invited to speak to them once a year. He will be on hand this week to talk about tax policy and the best way to message it etc.

Now, don't forget, on Nov. 3, Boehner (R-OH) called Norquist a "random person." That exchange follows:

Boehner: “We are doing everything we are doing to get our economy back to work. It's not often I'm asked about some random person in America."

NBC News: Random person?

"Our focus is about creating jobs, not talking about somebody's personality."

NBC News: What he stands for, is that a positive influence in your conference?

"What he stands for???"

NBC News: Yes, his no tax hikes under any circumstances pledge, is that positive for your conference?
 
"Listen, our conference is opposed to tax hikes because we believe tax hikes will hurt our economy and put Americans out of work."