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. Denise

    Poor Mitt, still delusional after all of these years and losses. He needs to talk to the Koch brothers and face reality. Money bought you love, tax evasion, car elevators and mansions, but it didn't and won't buy you the White House.....

    May 9, 2014 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. Sniffit

    He then donned on his Ruby Slippers, clicked his heels, and repeated "there's no place like China" three times, disappearing in a puff of Yuan and overseas bank statements.

    May 9, 2014 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  3. Dean

    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

    You are talking about Obama and his one time jobs czar, Jeff Immelt, who sent more jobs to China than anyone.

    May 9, 2014 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  4. Rev

    @Thomas Richard Harold

    Spot on...It is unfortunate that most people here no nothing about business or the economy.

    May 9, 2014 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    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.
    ---------------------------
    Maybe. Who knows? But, it could have a lot do do with taxes. It's not that Mexico's taxes are lower than ours, but U.S. based companies are allowed to deduct their foreign tax payments off of their U.S. taxes. In other words, instead of paying taxes on production facilities in the U.S., move it overseas and deduct those foreign taxes so that you pay a net nothing. It helps too offset the cost of transporting your products back to the U.S. for sale, as it always cheapest to produce your products as close to the end user as possible.

    May 9, 2014 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  6. RyanMN

    "...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."

    This ticks me off. I wish they'd report what ACTUALLY happened:
    "...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 OVERCOME A REPUBLICAN FILIBUSTER TO PREVENT THE BILL FROM COMING TO AN UP OR DOWN VOTE."

    And the Republicans have will now be spouting about how poor the recovery is and how President Obama oversteps his authority by using executive orders, conveniently forgetting that they've blocked EVERY legislative attempt to try to get the economy moving again. All in the name of the 2016 election.

    May 9, 2014 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  7. Dean

    Denise

    Poor Mitt, still delusional after all of these years and losses. He needs to talk to the Koch brothers and face reality. Money bought you love, tax evasion, car elevators and mansions, but it didn't and won't buy you the White House.....

    The Koch brothers have put more people to work in this country than Obama has.

    May 9, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  8. rs

    I heartily disagree with Mr. Romney on many fronts, but he is entirely correct on this point. The best way to raise more people out of poverty and to get them off of assistance is to look towards a guaranteed livable wage.

    May 9, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  9. mr. rascal

    Right on...stop bullying the little guy...

    May 9, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  10. Bill Kleinsturn

    Of course, he does. That's why he lost the last election.

    May 9, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. John Richard

    Mitt says he supports raising the minimum wage, bit softens the blow with a nod to the GOP's view that lowering the taxes on the 1% will float all boats – hint hint wink wink. Hey, does he still think that people should "self-deport" themselves? Rising income levels for the Wall Street bankers, CEO's, and super rich have done nothing to help the shrinking middle class so far. I wish he HAD to live on minimum wages or unemployment benefits for one year. If he's going to be a viable candidate he going to have to evolve much more deeply than this shallow move.

    May 9, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. Boo

    Who cares what this man thinks? His political career is over...

    May 9, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. tv22

    Whether you agree with him or not, where was this guy who said what HE wanted from a policy perspective instead of the guy who wanted to appease the far right a couple of years ago?

    May 9, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  14. usvet

    nice try Mitt. we know where your loyalties are.

    May 9, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. rs

    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!
    ____________________________
    Please explain why that will happen now, when it hasn't happened at any time in our history since there was a minimum wage.

    May 9, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  16. don in albuquerque

    Don't worry about it. He will change his mind by Monday.

    May 9, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  17. KidKid

    No one cares what the reject Repubtard candidate has to say.

    May 9, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    You know Don in Albuquerque, I like the way you think!!!

    May 9, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Tommy G

    It should be an Obamacare amendment that Obama be required to appear with every Democrat that voted for Obamacare, as well as Pelosi and Reid. The American voters have a right to see, all on one stage, the people that are wrecking their healthcare system, driving their costs through the roof and getting their policies cancelled.
    -----------------------
    Have you ever heard of "Photoshop"? Computers?

    May 9, 2014 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  20. Herbal Tea

    How about a MAXIMUM wage limit total compensatrion of say $7 million (which is way generous to any CEO) and let ALL the corporate share holders spread the wealth.

    May 9, 2014 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. John

    So he was for it, then against it, and now for it again. I wonder why?

    The most recent polls on the issue indicate a strong majority of Americans supporting raising the minimum wage

    May 9, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  22. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    Oh, poor Mr. Mittens lost that loving momentum ...

    "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."

    Well, at least the weather vane is still well oiled and still spinning for all it's worth. East-west; or is it west-east? South-north? North-south?

    Severely conservative – slightly conservative. Oops there it spins again ... maybe conservative. Back and forth. Forth and back.

    Spin baby spin.

    May 9, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  23. danomite

    Sorry Mitt, but trying to make people believe that you care one whit about people earning minimum wage won't fool anybody. As the 2012 election showed, a majority of American voters saw through your charade.

    May 9, 2014 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  24. Debbie

    Anybody that supports free market and capitalism should be for raising the minimum wage.
    Expecting the federal government to supplement private businesses with welfare, food stamps and housing vouchers for their employees isn't really helping capitalism–it is expecting government subsidies.

    May 9, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  25. Aurthor

    It is not that they don't listen they only get mad when it is other people that figure things out first. Romney types will not be around forever and look at how much chaos comes from not giving people what they need. Yet they want to blame everyone else for the problems they create.

    May 9, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
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