Romney on minimum wage: 'We ought to raise it'
May 9th, 2014
10:05 AM ET
3 months ago

Romney on minimum wage: 'We ought to raise it'

Washington (CNN) - In a break with many in the Republican Party, Mitt Romney says he backs a move to raise the minimum wage.

"I, for instance, as you know, part company with many of the conservatives in my party on the issue of the minimum wage," the 2012 GOP presidential nominee said Friday morning.

"I think we ought to raise it, because frankly, our party is all about more jobs and better pay, and I think communicating that is important to us," Romney added in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

These Republicans want to raise the minimum wage

Romney's comments come a week after a bill pushed by Senate Democrats to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour failed to garner the 60 votes needed to pass. Only one Senate Republican voted for the measure.

In recent days, two opponents of Romney during the last race for the GOP presidential nomination, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who's also considering another White House bid in 2016, both supported some kind of minimum wage increase.

Romney's growing influential role as Republican party elder

Democrats are using the issue of raising the minimum wage, and the opposition from most Republicans, as part of their income equality push as they campaign in this year's midterm elections.

Complete coverage: 2014 Midterm Elections

Obama: Democrats 'don't vote' in midterms

Romney was open to a minimum wage hike when he served as Massachusetts governor from 2003 to 2007 and when he first ran for president, in the 2008 campaign. In 2011 and early 2012, during his second White House run, Romney also supported a wage hike, but he changed his stance a few months later, saying in an interview on CNBC that "there's probably not a need to raise the minimum wage."

The most recent polls on the issue indicate a strong majority of Americans supporting raising the minimum wage, with Republicans mostly divided on the issue.

GOP lawmakers point to a recent Congressional Budget Office report that found the wage hike could lift 900,000 people out of poverty but also lead to the loss of 500,000 jobs. A recent poll from Bloomberg indicated that a majority of Americans found that trade-off unacceptable.

Not running again

Romney once again shot down any suggestions that he has a third run for the White House in the works.

"I’m not running for president in 2016," he clearly stated, adding with a smile that "I think our best prospects of getting back the White House are with someone who has not run twice before as I have."

Romney gave a similar answer during a CNN interview in February with the Situation Room's Wolf Blitzer.


Filed under: Minimum wage • Mitt Romney
soundoff (272 Responses)
  1. O'drama ya Mama

    Mitt may just be branded a RINO for speaking blasphemy

    May 9, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  2. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Ugh. He's starting to talk like Palin. "I, for instance, as you know....."

    What?

    Smh. Has been.

    May 9, 2014 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  3. Tom

    Oh don't worry, Mittens will be against raising the minimum wage before the end of May.

    May 9, 2014 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    "I think we ought to raise it, because frankly, our party is all about more jobs and better pay, and I think communicating that is important to us," Romney added in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
    ---------------------------–
    During the same interview, Romney also approved of the Republican practice of fundraising off of the Benghazi attacks because it helps "to increase awareness" of the scandal. Despicable.

    May 9, 2014 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  5. Silence DoGood

    "I think we ought to raise it, because frankly, our party is all about more jobs and better pay, and I think communicating that is important to us," Romney added in an interview
    --------
    Aaaaaah – can't see – blinding flash of the obvious.
    But now he will fail to meet the Great Holy Purity test of the extremists. He will be banished.

    May 9, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  6. bcrunner

    We probably know now he will not run again... There is no way he would have said that if he had plans to run again...

    May 9, 2014 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  7. Dean

    I would love for the minumum wage to be raised. Then people would realize what a bad idea it was. If the 'poor' think they're poor now...just wait.

    May 9, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  8. troppo1

    he doesnt have employee's he just wants his kids to getter better paid so he doesnt have to give them pocket money..

    May 9, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  9. AlbaMN

    I think it is good that he is in favor of it, however his motives are iffy – "our party is all about more jobs and better pay, and I think communicating that is important to us,". So it's not because it's the right thing to do, it's because it looks good.

    May 9, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  10. Tim

    Now that Mitt Romney is no longer running under the banner of Party Crazy, he can get back to being reasonable Mitt Romney again. After all, it was reasonable Mitt Romney who passed Romneycare in Massachusetts who got elected governor in a deep blue state, and he was pretty good too. He is the ultimate flip-flopper. But then, it is totally understandable when you sell your soul to Party Crazy.

    May 9, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  11. Marie MD

    Says the loser who outsourced Americans jobs, even while campaigning in 2012, to look like concentration camp factories in China to save money.
    Please just go away. Build yourself and the wife with the ugly fish tee another mansion and both of you disappear!

    May 9, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    It's been so freakin' long since Republicans made any kind of sense that they sound weird when they do.

    May 9, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  13. SnorkY2K

    This would not affect low wage earners at companies that his company acquires because those jobs will probably be offshored anyway.

    May 9, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  14. Drew

    Mitt for President! He will win the election on this topic, but will not do a thing about minimum wage and go back to his establishment.

    May 9, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  15. sonny chapman

    Raise Minimum Wage ? Some who've slinked their way int the Repub. Party are thinking, Repeal the 13th Amendment !!

    May 9, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  16. twophad

    Always about "communicating that"! Reality of their policies matters not one whit. The opposition to a minimum wage increase is only one in a series of anti-working-stiff moves

    May 9, 2014 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Ruh roh Mitt.... You just stepped in it. I wonder how long before he changes his mind?

    May 9, 2014 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  18. Searcher1

    Surely the TEA-GOP will support and raise the lower class? No, they are not that bright.....

    May 9, 2014 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  19. Jen

    Why isn't it controlled by an independent body?

    May 9, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  20. Leroy

    I'm so pleased that Myth Romney supports a higher minimum wage for Frank...

    May 9, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  21. Mtheumer

    Wait..but the free market...blah, blah....

    May 9, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  22. Thomas Richard Harold

    Who cares if it causes the loss of thousands of jobs!
    Who cares if companies opt to move their operations out of the US because of labor costs!
    Who cares if the labor costs will be pushed onto all consumers and EVERYONE effectively gets a pay cut!

    May 9, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  23. Gary

    It just proves that, when ever a Republican runs for office, especially for the President of the United States, his opinion is handcuffed by another group of people or by someone. This has been true in many cases over the last 2 decades. Someone or some group infiltrated the order of the Republican Party long ago and will not let it go.

    May 9, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  24. Scott

    Like many Americans Mr. Romney is doing all he can to help the Republicans take back their party.

    May 9, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  25. ritmocojo

    Only Romney can give himself that proverbial 'kiss of death.' Twice.

    May 9, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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