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

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"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.

"Iā€™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. JBump

    Rom's timing is great. After the Repubs already block it.

    May 9, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    He must be feeling guilty about the poor people who died in his place in the jungles of Vietnam while he was draft dodging in France,or it could be the poor soldiers who have to make up for the taxes hes dodging by hiding a half billion dollars in the Cayman Islands.I would put my money on him feeling guilty about the steel workers who are on minimum wage because Mitt stole their pensions.My favorite part is how I "we the taxpayers"had to pay for is theft through pension insurance.He is a draft dodging,tax dodging,thief who is probably i little loopey because he is having trouble sleeping.He LOVES capitolism because poor people have to give him subsidies.Go back to Paris where you belong Mitt Romney!

    May 9, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. Tony Bartlett

    If you are a Republican and you want to get on CNN there are two routes. 1. Say something really stupid or 2. Say something against your own party. Here Romney has done both.

    May 9, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. Bill from GA

    charles – " Pay all employees $2 so that companies can make a lot of profits , the CEO's buy new private jets. "

    In most new small business, the owner is struggling to pay his bills. Not all companies are like GM, Home Depot, GE.

    Many are owned and managed by people who were working in their chosen industry before they took the risk of starting out on their own. And it is not easy, even without the Federal Government trying to managed every aspect.

    And, BTW, in a free market system, you pay what it takes to fill the job.

    May 9, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. bobo

    I sure wish Romney was our President now.....

    May 9, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. yogi

    "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,"
    "Our party"? Is he running as a Democrat in 2016?

    May 9, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. liberty4life

    I swear, I can not tell the difference between Republicans or Democrats anymore. I m done voting.

    May 9, 2014 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Dominican mama

    That whole Romney thingy you mentioned? Sniffit, my friend. The credit is Sniffit's. I simply followed up on his comment šŸ˜‰

    May 9, 2014 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. Tammy Terrell

    This is why Mitt Romney was not my first choice. We conservatives are NEVER given an option because the big donors select our candidate for us. When you raise the minimum wage, everything follows upward, including the cost of the burgers and fries, the costs of doing business and there's not ONE thing added to production to merit that pay raise. If you are good enough, that company will raise you to keep you. A company shouldn't be forced to pay more for jobs at the counter of McDonalds that any high school student could do. Mitt, I held my nose and voted for you as the lesser of two evils. You may convince me to stay home if you decide to run again.

    May 9, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  10. Hard Working Veteran

    Everyone forgets that an employeer doesn't have to pay the minimum, so stop saying that it is the governments fault. Also if minimum wage goes up, than my pay would have to go up so I can still pay my bills ($65,000 in student loans). I only make $15 an hour and that is with a degree. Wake up people the prices of everything will double if minimum wage goes up that much that fast. If you don't like the kind of money you are making, than look for a new job. I am in the middle of the interview process for a new job since I would like to make more money.

    May 9, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. it must be said

    Mammo
    I support raising minimum wages because if someone is working full time, he/she should be able to meet their basic needs through their earning. This is an issue that needs a real genuine dialogue between employers and employees.
    -–

    The minimum wage was never designed to do this. The left is trying to redefine everything to suit their leftist agenda.

    May 9, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. Dr. Charles Hardee

    What most of you liberals on here don't realize is, by raising the minimum wages it only devalues the money you own or make. For instance say you work at McDonald's and now your hired at $10 an hour, well now the price of those burgers must go up accordingly. So now individuals whom have succeeded in life, went to college, started their own business, etc spend less money there so conversely McDonalds determines they don't need 10 people to staff their facility but rather 6. So not only is your money worth less, but also less hours are available. Lastly again those whom were hired before minimum wages were raised don't get a raise, so their wages stay the same. All in all minimum wages are the cause of inflation like it or not.

    May 9, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. jefnvk

    Baseline it, set it to follow inflation, and be done with it.

    Granted, I'd imagine the Democrats want that as little as Republicans, because then it can never be brought up as a wedge issue again.

    May 9, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. 2_indy1600

    @ Mammo "This is an issue that needs a real genuine dialogue etween employers and employees."
    If labor unions could do this, pensions wouldn't be getting cancelled and labor union blue states would not be going bankrupt in the numbers they are. No one has the right to charge me for the right to work, or take dues to do the talking for me. What an unarticulate, despotic frame of mind!

    May 9, 2014 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. snowdogg

    "our party is all about more jobs and better pay"

    For the 1%

    May 9, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  16. sly

    bozo

    I sure wish Romney was our President now.....
    =======================================
    Yep – you and the other 1% of American elites.

    Next time don't vote for a loser.

    Those of us who picked a winner are darned happy with the job President Obama has done. Probably the best President I've seen since Ike. And the only one to NOT START A WAR!

    May 9, 2014 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. Bill from GA

    So, the same people, generally, who want to raise the minimum wage by around 50%, also want to make legal citizens of 12 million or so immigrants. Which will lead to another 12 million or so here in a few years to take the jobs that the current group will no longer work, because they don't have to.

    Maybe if we didn't allow these people to work here and lower our wages, demand would create higher pay, without government interference. Maybe the government has broken our free-market system by allowing endless numbers of unskilled labor to undermine the system. A landmark event in this cycle was in the onion fields in southeast Georgia in the late 1990's, and it was Republican politicians who told the immigration agents to stay away.

    May 9, 2014 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  18. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Now that the Kock Brothers no longer need him, he can speak his mind.

    May 9, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  19. Bud Smoker

    We could just round up the poor people who don't want to work for next to nothing and bury them alive in a big pit full political crap. Wake up people, everything costs more and millions of people can hardly afford to eat.

    May 9, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  20. Lynda/Minnesota

    The new American motto: Work your way up the corporate ladder ... one peanut at a time.

    So. How many peanuts will it take for retirement?

    May 9, 2014 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. Gurgyl

    -–do you think the price the Burger did not go up? 89 cents Bean Burrito costs now 1.25 cents with tax. Just because you oppose–prices will not fall. Milk is 4/ how ridiculous. Raise minimum wage to 12/. Greed needs to stop.

    May 9, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  22. NoNukes

    ". For instance say you work at McDonald's and now your hired at $10 an hour, well now the price of those burgers must go up accordingly."

    Things don't work quite that way. McDonald's is not in the business of giving away meat, so they already charge as much as they possibly can for their burgers. If labor costs go up, McDonald's must eat most of those increases.

    "Lastly again those whom were hired before minimum wages were raised don't get a raise, so their wages stay the same."

    Where did you get an idea like that?

    May 9, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  23. Bill from GA

    The middle class will benefit from the minimum wage increase because many in this group have loans for houses, cars, student debt, etc. locked in. With the resulting inflation, their payment and debt will be reduced.

    It is the poor who will suffer, as their pay increase never keeps up with inflation. Their costs will go up faster than their income.

    May 9, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. ted

    This guy should run for president, or at least get a HGTV show.

    May 9, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. Sandy Frank

    Every time we raise the minimum wage the Republicans come out with the same tired old lies.

    May 9, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
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