Reversing a position he took just two months ago, Donald Trump told Fox News on Tuesday that he would like to see the federal minimum wage raised to $US10 per hour.
Trump slammed former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for saying in his Monday speech at the Democratic National Convention that Trump doesn’t support raising the federal minimum wage. Sanders also said Trump believes “that states should actually have the right to lower the minimum wage below $US7.25.”
“He lied last night, I mean it was a total lie and everybody said it,” Trump said on “The O’Reilly Factor” in response to Sanders (PolitiFact, for its part, rated Sanders’ statement as “mostly true”).
“In fact, some of the folks on your network said, ‘Wow that was really a lie; he said that I wanted to go less than minimum wage’ — this is a new one because I’m the one Republican that said in some cases we have to go more than minimum wage but what I like is states.”
Repeating an earlier position, Trump advocated for leaving minimum wage up to individual states.
“You go with the states — let the states make the determination because if you take New York it’s very expensive to live in New York, they need more than you know seven, eight, nine dollars,” he said. “So you go with the states and let the states make the determination.”
But then he said he would also set a federal minimum wage.
“There doesn’t have to be — well I would leave it and raise it somewhat,” Trump said. “You need to help people and I know it’s not very Republican to say but you need to help people.”
He continued: “I would say $US10, but with the understanding that somebody like me is going to bring back jobs, I don’t want people to be in that ten dollar category for very long. But the thing is Bill, let the states make the — they’re not doing that for the most part.”
The federal minimum wage is currently set at $US7.25.
Trump’s proposal for a $10 federal minimum wage contrasts with earlier statements he has made. PolitiFact noted Trump’s response to a question in May on NBC’s “Meet The Press” when he was asked whether the federal government should set a floor for the minimum wage and then let states decide if they want to go above that.
“No, I’d rather have the states go out and do what they have to do,” Trump said then. “And the states compete with each other, not only other countries, but they compete with each other. … So I like the idea of let the states decide. But I think people should get more.”
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