October 6th, 2010
07:30 PM ET
4 years ago

McMahon on minimum wage

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Accusations are flying over what Republican Senate nominee Linda McMahon meant when she said "we ought to look at those issues" in response to a question about reducing the minimum wage during a press conference last week. In an interview with CNN, Linda McMahon says she did not hear the question correctly. McMahon tells CNN, "I thought I was answering a question that I had heard that was about increasing the minimum wage - would I consider that. So let me just go on record and say this: I am not for decreasing the minimum wage. I did not say that and that is not something I would consider." When asked if she "misunderstood the question and misspoke" she replied, "yes."

This has become a point of contention between the campaigns of McMahon and Democratic Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. The Blumenthal campaign has seized on the comment, asserting in an ad launched late last week: "Now she's talking about lowering the minimum wage." McMahon fired back calling that a lie.

Read Jessica Yellin's Q & A with McMahon after the jump:

The truth? In the video which is posted online it's clear the former World Wrestling executive does not advocate lowering the minimum wage. But it's also clear when she was asked about reducing the minimum wage she replied in a way that suggested a willingness to have that discussion. That question comes after a series of inquiries – about whether she opposes increases in the minimum wage, whether she believes a minimum wage should exist at all. Then a male voice asks "Should it be reduced?" At that point several people are speaking at the same time so she turns to the questioner and says "I'm sorry?" The questioner, a male voice off camera, asks again "Should it be reduced now? Now that businesses are struggling as you all described, would you argue for reducing the minimum wage now?" Linda McMahon replies: "We've got minimum wages in states and we've got minimum wages in the government, and I think we ought to look at all of those issues in terms of what mandates are being placed on businesses and can they afford them." Blumenthal has seized on this language - "I think we ought to look at all of those issues" - to assert she'd consider lowering American's base pay.

JY: You were criticized last week for comments you made about the minimum wage. When the Blumenthal campaign said you were open to looking at reducing the minimum wage you said that was a lie. Why is that a lie? 

LM: Because it was in the context of a conversation about increasing the minimum wage. And Mr. Blumenthal and I have exactly the same idea which is we would look at and consider an increase in the minimum wage if that were on the table.

JY: But in the video you were clearly – I wrote it down – you were explicitly asked "are you" - "would you argue for reducing the minimum wage now?" and you said "I think we ought to look at those issues in terms of what mandates are being placed on businesses and can they afford them." So you clearly said, when asked, "would you be open to reducing it," - "that's an issue we'd look at".

LM: Well there were conflicting questions that were going on in the room at that particular time. I was answering a question that I had heard that was about increasing the minimum wage, would I consider that. So let me just go on record and say this: I am not for decreasing the minimum wage. I did not say that and that is not something I woulud consider.

JY: So basically you misunderstood the question and misspoke?

LM: Yes.

The Blumenthal campaign insists McMahon is trying to spin her way out of an answer that got her into hot water. Does it matter? If she isn't for changing the minimum wage why all the fuss? Or, since McMahon has unabashedly slammed her opponent for misstatements of his own, are her intentions particularly relevant? The whole exchange is captured on video, but in this case it would seem going to the video doesn't yield all the answers.


Filed under: 2010 • issues • Linda McMahon
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    McFake_Wrestling Inc. is sugarcoating it and playing games. Either YES or NO is the answer. Obviously she is more concerned with "business" than the American workers. Oh the humanity, those poor corporate executives have a few more papers to shuffle to keep up with those pesky "mandates" like minimum wage. DON'T GIVE THE KEYS BACK TO THE GOP!

    October 6, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  2. Peter s

    She is a multi-millionaire do you think she understands the real meaning of minimum wage? ask her where to buy gold and diamond rings of the highest quality and she will not only name the best price but also the best vendor

    October 6, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  3. Darth Vadik, CA

    Yeah, OK,

    that is why you never answer a question as yes or no, you say I BELIEVE IN INCREASING THE MINIMUM WAGE...

    ...oh somebody please pull out a ladder, a aluminum trash can and a chair and bring back the good ole' days of WWE to Linda

    October 6, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  4. ZB

    McMahone is even phonier than the wrestling shows she puts on.

    October 6, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  5. vic, Nashville TN

    “misunderstood the question and misspoke" Wow she doesn’t get it that is true she spoke what she think that is true

    October 6, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  6. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    LIE. I watched the video of McMahon talking about Minimum Wage! She is a LIAR. Her numbers are down, so why not LIE?

    October 6, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I bet she pays her cooks, gardners and housekeepers minimum wage and thinks that's too much.

    October 6, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  8. T'SAH from Virginia

    She is SPINNING this story so much – I'm getting DIZZY!!!! Liar, liar PANTS on FIRE!!!

    Blumenthal will WIN!!!

    This is T'SAH from Virginia and I approve this message!!

    October 6, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  9. Clwyd

    Let's look into the fake Wrestling and millions she and her husband have bilked with from the views and audiences for their fake occupation! Just the type of crazy the repulsicans would want in Washington!

    October 6, 2010 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    How can you expect her to know something as mundane as the minimum wage? She has far more important things to worry about: now, if she can just name them, and how they pertain to the people of her state, she might look like something other than the bored billionaire who relentlessly pumped steroids into her performers with total disregard for their health. She is a perfect example of what is wrong with the GOP: people who live in a fantasy world of heels and heros, where even those who have ruined the country can find redemption, sort of like the story lines in the WWE. Bret Hart, anyone?

    Remember, when she loses, to paraphrase her husband Vince, Linda screwed Linda.

    October 6, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  11. Rob

    Not sure what the big deal is. We should decrease minimum wage. I thought it was crazy when the senate raised it. Minimum wage is meant to keep businesses honest and not run sweat shops paying $1 for 12hrs work. It is not meant to be a wage that someone can raise a family on. The market will determine what rate is appropriate for what job. All we are doing by increasing the minimum wage is hurting small businesses and increasing the lines in unemployment as employers will not be able to afford the number of workers that they would like and need to hire.

    October 6, 2010 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  12. welches, oregon

    Why all the fuss? Because now we can't believe anything she says. She clearly did understand the question and yes, now she is trying to spin her way out of it.

    Here's the guts:
    Linda McMahon replies: "We've got minimum wages in states and we've got minimum wages in the government, and I think we ought to look at all of those issues in terms of what mandates are being placed on businesses and can they afford them."

    She's clearly advocating for businesses rather than people.

    October 6, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  13. Aaron

    If the woman weren't prone to pathological lying, the video would easily answer all of the questions.

    October 6, 2010 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |