Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said Monday that he was against raising the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour.
The Republican presidential candidate had previously said that he supported automatic increases in the federal minimum wage based on inflation.
“A lot of conservatives led by the Wall Street Journal editorial page were horrified when you said you want to index the minimum wage for inflation,” CNBC host Larry Kudlow said. “They said, look, that’s just going to raise the minimum wage. That’s going to raise the unemployment rate, especially for young people, especially for minorities. Why do you want to raise the minimum wage?”
Romney responded by noting that as governor, he had vetoed a bill to raise the minimum wage in Massachusetts.
“I vetoed it and I said, look, the way to deal with minimum wage is this: On a regular basis, I said in the proposal I made, every two years, we should look at the minimum wage, we should see what’s happened to inflation, we should also look at the jobs level throughout the country, unemployment rate, competitive rates in other states or, in this case, other nations,” he said.
“So, certainly, the level of inflation is something you should look at and you should identify what’s the right way to keep America competitive,” Romney continued. “So that would tell you that right now, there’s probably not a need to raise the minimum wage.”
“What I can tell you is had one indexed the minimum wage back to 1990, the minimum wage would be lower now than it actually is,” he added. “Democrats make big hay of this. Every few years, ‘oh, we’re going to raise the minimum wage’ and get a lot of hoopla for it.”
Watch video, courtesy of CNBC, below: