Sen. John McCain said he supports raising minimum wage on Fox News Sunday with host Chris Wallace as he admits voting against it at least 17 times.
Wallace asked McCain about his voting record on minimum wage after Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden used it to criticize the candidate during a speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Wallace eventually corrected his original question by informing McCain that the senator had actually voted 19 times to keep wages at the current level, to which McCain responded, “Well, or 29 or 49, whatever it is.”
“The point is I voted to keep taxes low,” McCain said, who went on to blame Obama for voting to raise taxes.
When Wallace pressured McCain again on the question, the senator argued that he only voted no to wage increases to prevent unrelated spending packaged with the bill.
“I’m for the minimum wage increases when they are not attached to other big-spending pork barrel. The practice in Washington is attach a good thing to a bad thing. And that way, then you have to vote yes or no,” McCain said. “When I’m president, I’m going to veto every bill that doesn’t have straight up or down votes on the issues that are important to the American people. … The fact is that I am for a living wage for all Americans.”
Apparently, McCain doesn’t think unrelated spending includes funding the Iraq war because the senator did vote for minimum wage increases in May 2007 as part of a $120 billion war spending bill quickly passed by the Senate and signed by President Bush.
PolitiFact.com, a Web site devoted to fact-checking for the presidential campaign, found Biden’s accusation that McCain has voted against raising minimum wage 19 times to be accurate, though not all were pure votes on that issue.
However, the site points out that McCain did vote for raising minimum wage in 2007 from $5.15 to $7.25 as part of a bill that also gave tax breaks to businesses to soften the blow of the wage increase.