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.

"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. smith

    @O`drama-It should be at least 10 years, 2 1/2 is way to short and will have no positive effects for people making min. wage.

    May 9, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  2. Solitairedog

    He thinks his party is about more jobs and better pay! He doesn't even know what party he belongs to!

    May 9, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  3. Sniffit

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

    ...for labor in other countries. And yes, by "better pay" they mean better for their donors who send jobs overseas, not better for the labor force.

    May 9, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  4. Smeagel4T

    Poor Mitt. Confused again. He apparently doesn't realize it's the Democrats, not the Republicans, who are all about more jobs and better pay - for the real workers who actually produce the wealth. It's the Republicans who are for fewer jobs and less pay for the real workers because that's what's best for the lazy capitalists. Every dime that goes toward a real worker, including more real workers, is a dime that comes out of the pocket of a lazy capitalist. Even Adam Smith said so in Wealth of Nations. Adam Smith warned against allowing the capitalist class to advance any laws because the capital class was the only class whose best interests were contrary to the best interests of the larger society. (It's amazing what you discover when you actually READ Wealth of Nations and not just accept what others say who are only using it as a prop.)

    May 9, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  5. Lizzie

    Jackson, when democrats change their minds it's called EVOLVING, when republicans change their minds you call it flip-flop, look back on the blogs it's right there.

    May 9, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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"

    In recent years (as Governor of Minnesota), Pawlenty was against minimum wage increases:

    "Sponsors of a plan to raise Minnesota's minimum wage for the first time since 2005 say they've been notified their bill has been vetoed. Governor Tim Pawlenty had been warning he'd reject the wage hike bill ...." – Kare 11.com archive

    Silly Timmy.

    May 9, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. Lizzie

    sam
    We should get rid of the minimum wage like Europe.
    - where in Europe did they get rid of minimum wage????

    May 9, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  8. Hogan's Goat

    He's right, though. They claimed they prized him for his financial know-how more than for his financial contributions, but when explains capitalism and free-market spending to them, it's "RINO RINO RINO" all the way. Gosh, he'll have to pay double to be on the ballot after this one.
    More money in people's pockets means more spending, which breaks the crisis of consumer confidence which is hobbling our economy – oh yeah, that's right, Obama might get some credit if people weren't hurting. Let the hurting continue.

    May 9, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  9. Uncle Sam

    really, who cares what he thinks.

    May 9, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  10. Lizzie

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

    ...for labor in other countries. And yes, by "better pay" they mean better for their donors who send jobs overseas, not better for the labor force.
    - is that why Heinz food outsourced to Mexico.

    May 9, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. Jim Beam

    .....what leaders–going out on a limb to hmmmm and hawwww over a bandaid when the patient needs major surgery !

    May 9, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  12. smith1

    well it is good to see mittens got this one right. I'm sure his party loves him. But really why should anyone listen to this guy?? why doesn't he go home to mass or Utah or where ever and take that nut job palin with him. Neither one is relevant .

    May 9, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  13. snewsom2997

    Here is an idea, do more than the bare minimum and be good at it, and you earn more than minimum wage.

    May 9, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  14. Starr

    Hmmmm Mitts election chances look slimmer and slimmer the more he aligns with his party?

    May 9, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  15. kurtinco

    Mitt Romney...who cares? We don't care what he says or does. The only reason anyone listens is because is super rich and can buy ad space on CNN. He is a 3 time loser. Give it a rest already.

    May 9, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Lizzie

    Jackson, when democrats change their minds it's called EVOLVING, when republicans change their minds you call it flip-flop, look back on the blogs it's right there.
    ----------------------------
    Correction:

    When a Democrat changes their mind, they admit to evolving. When a Republican changes their mind, they admit nothing, ignore any and all previous contradictory statements they've made, and so everyone calls them a flip-flopper.

    May 9, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  17. john pickett

    All hail the Almighty Dollar

    May 9, 2014 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. Jamal

    After Obama for 2 terms, Romney would be a welcome hope and change.

    May 9, 2014 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  19. Sniffit

    Whatever. The GOP/Teatrolls have made it abundantly clear that their position is as follows:

    "If you want you jobs back from overseas, you're going to have to accept being treat and paid just like those foreign labor forces."

    May 9, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  20. 2 Km N of G Zero

    Hey Mitt ! That was sounding kinda presidential now, wasn't it? Can you pick a VP this time around who isn't a loony and a distraction?

    May 9, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  21. Jim Malone

    Good for Mitt! I am glad he can speak his mind now that he is not cowtailing to conservative lobby groups. He would have won the election if he had spoken his mind in the first place.

    May 9, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  22. greenaxe

    Okay...throw the poor working people a bone. Thanks Mitt.

    May 9, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  23. Sniffit

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

    LOL. She'd annihilate him. Captain Alsoran is terribly damaged goods and will never hold (or even run for) public office again.

    May 9, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  24. john

    Ok if we raise the minimum wage. Who is going after companies that keep raising our water bills electric bills cable bills gas bills ect. Even food prices are going up...WHAT RAISE ? ROMMNEY

    May 9, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  25. likeAplan

    So, Mitt is etch-sketching from 47% to 42%?

    May 9, 2014 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
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