Romney on minimum wage: 'We ought to raise it'
May 9th, 2014
10:05 AM ET
6 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. Rosslaw

    A break from the party that believes corporations are people and should be able to force the corporation's "religious" beliefs of the corporation on their employees, also known as "real people".

    May 9, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. johnk

    And all you liberal cowboys voted against him< Why? He is spot on with this minimum wage it ought to be raised, but here is the sad reality, everything is going up so there is no getting ahead. Check the prices for gas, food, rent, clothes, and most everything. The real problem is our Congress. Financial mismanagement, they have in problem giving themselves pay raises, separate retirement funds and healthcare. Screwing the vets when they come home with cuts in medical treatments, unable to put together a federal budget because they can't for most are financially illerate. The worst of it is the bozo voters keep re-electing these jokes, how pathetic!

    May 9, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. smith

    The min. wage should be raised but slowly over a period of time.

    May 9, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  4. Butterfieldrules

    I regret not voting for him.

    May 9, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  5. Layla Godey

    No. I don't agree with him. It isn't viable or non-viable depending on whose party does it (and I'm not a member of his party anyway).

    May 9, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  6. TM

    Can't wait for the triple threat, steel cage, death match on this topic between Willard "Mittens" Romney, Ted "Green Eggs and Spam" Cruz, and Sarah "Quitter" Palin. Rand Paul will be the referee, taking everyone's side at once, of course.

    May 9, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. sam

    We should get rid of the minimum wage like Europe.

    May 9, 2014 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  8. judith

    Even a blind chicken picks up some corn. The usually hapless Romney is right in supporting increasing the minimum wage. That said, I'd still never vote for the creep.

    May 9, 2014 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. 1776usa2016

    At least Romney is true to his Mormon faith.

    .

    May 9, 2014 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. O'drama ya Mama

    smith

    The min. wage should be raised but slowly over a period of time.
    May 9, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    The current plan to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would have taken place over 30 months. I really hope Fox News wasnt leaving that fact out.

    May 9, 2014 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. deee510

    That is one thing Mr. Romney got right. Besides he owes it to the 47% to care about the needs of working people.

    May 9, 2014 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. Vijay

    Mitt is 100 % correct... I welcome Mitt for having good brain when compared with other GOP's....

    May 9, 2014 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  13. Jackson

    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."

    ______________

    Now that he isn't running for anything, he is free to have his own opinions again. Notice how, when running for President, he changed his opinion on that hike pretty darn quickly.

    Funny, when a Democrat changes an opinion, they're called a flip flop. But, hey, when a Republican does it, it's just A-OK, isn't it.

    Pathetic.

    May 9, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Knucklehead

    If Mitt had broken with the Tea Party during the election he may have had a shot. Pandering to those zealots may have won him the nomination but cost him the election.

    May 9, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  15. Michael

    republicans have already lost the next election. Jeb Bush-need I say more

    May 9, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. Duke 'em

    O'drama ya Mama – He was branded a RINO 2-3 years ago

    May 9, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  17. Ed

    If Romney had broken from his party's resistance to accept ACA he could have been President.

    May 9, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  18. Andy Daniel

    I have trouble believing that a modest minimum wage hike would like to the loss of many jobs. (In fairness, we can have a separate discussions on whether the current proposal is modest or not). If you look at the "negotiation" between employer and employee for salary, it's mathematically a given that almost all minimum wage jobs would end up with a lower salary than the minimum in the absence of the law.(If the agreed-upon salary were higher, it would stay higher, if lower, it is pushed up to the minimum.) Employers hire, regardless of wage, because they believe that the net revenue from hiring that employee is higher than the cost of the employee. Except for a few jobs where the break-even point for the company is between the old and new wage, and there is no opportunity to raise prices, most jobs will remain, and these employees will have more money with which to make their own purchases. The minimum wage is one of thise places where government steps in to correct a flaw in the free market – that a worker needs to eat and a corporation (or wealthier owner) doesn't – which makes free-market negotiation unfair for low-skill jobs.

    May 9, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. loco motion

    Does that mean his illegal immigrants house workers get a raise too?

    May 9, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  20. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I damn sure don't regret not voting for him. Actually I don't believe him. I think he's just saying what people want to hear. Hoping for the nomination.

    May 9, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  21. Flippity Floppity

    Romney "I am against raising the minimum wage (if it means you'll vote for me)". . . . Romney 2 years later, "I am for raising the minimum wage (if it means you'll listen to me)". . . he'll play that tune on both sides of the fiddle, every time.

    May 9, 2014 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  22. Barry G.

    Wouldn't it be great if we had better choices, and if our chioces weren't just limited to either the right or the left!

    Surely the answers to our problems are not so simple as to say it's all one way, or all the other.

    And surely the current system isn't working–and besides both sides seem to be beholden to the lobbyists, who seem to rule the country.

    May 9, 2014 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. ben9

    The GOP believes that people exist to serve the economy rather than that the economy exists to furnish goods and services to the people. It is a fundamentally flawed view that leads to policy positions that are not optimal for either the people or the economy. Henry Ford, a solid Capitalist understood this distinction; the current GOP does not.

    May 9, 2014 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. Gurgyl

    Yes, this is long overdue. Raise minimum wage to 12/ an hour. Greed is so rampant in employers, they just suck blood. They need to raise wages, give bonuses then only they see good workers. Fire all these CEOs. Period.

    May 9, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  25. charley

    Mitt is the strongest candidate for 2016. I think he would win even if Hillary runs

    May 9, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
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