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Romney Rebukes GOP Govs on Minimum Wage

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Republican governors’ policies are so hostile toward the middle class that now Mitt Romney of 47 percent fame is even speaking out against them.  On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” today, the former Republican standard bearer was asked about raising the minimum wage Romney and said, “we ought to raise it,” to help give people “better pay.”
Unfortunately, Republican governors and their candidates continue to be openly hostile to the idea. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker mocked it as an example of “political grandstanding,” Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said it isn’t “a burning issue,” Florida Governor Rick Scott described how it makes him “cringe” while characterizing the notion that it would help working people as a “lie,” and Illinois Republican Bruce Rauner went so far as to suggest the minimum wage should be cut by a dollar in order to keep the state “competitive.”
Romney isn’t the only former Republican presidential candidate calling of a minimum wage hike – Rick Santorum and Tim Pawlenty also urged Republicans to raise the minimum wage.  Sadly, Republican governors remain blindly wedded to failed, top-down economic policies that reward the wealthiest and well-connected at the expense of the middle class.
Here’s the background on Republican governors and their candidates opposing a minimum wage hike:
Minimum Wage Hike Made Rick Scott “Cringe.” Tampa Bay Times reporter Steve Bousquet noted in a column, “as a Democratic candidate for governor, Crist enthusiastically supports a higher minimum wage… Two Democratic state lawmakers from Miami have filed bills to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour in Florida to help working families. A spokesman for Scott said the idea made the governor ‘cringe.’” [Steve Bousquet column, Tampa Bay Times, 1/13/14]
Bruce Rauner Initially Said He Favored Cutting Minimum Wage; Tried To Backtrack Even As Video Surfaced Of Him Saying He Was “Adamantly, Adamantly” Against An Increase. “First, Bruce Rauner seemed to say he favored cutting the state’s $8.25-an-hour minimum wage. Then, he retreated from those ‘flippant’ remarks made in December and said this week he favors increasing pay for Illinois’ poorest workers to as much as $10 an hour. On Thursday came yet another twist in the Republican gubernatorial candidate’s confusing and evolving stance on a vital issue affecting 1.1 million Illinois workers: a September video in which Rauner said he ‘adamantly, adamantly’ opposes raising the minimum wage. Got all that?” [Dave McKinney, Voices, Sun-Times, 1/9/14]
Foley “Distanced Himself” From CT Minimum Wage Measure; “Seemed Unaware” Bill Had Advanced Through Legislature. Connecticut GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley “distanced himself Friday from the governor’s proposal to raise the $8.70 state minimum to $10.10 by January 2017… ‘I think we need to be careful about having a minimum wage in Connecticut that’s higher than other states, because that drives jobs out of the state,’ Foley said. Foley suggested there was no serious plan to raise the state minimum, saying, ‘I don’t think anybody’s proposing that.’ He seemed unaware that a state legislative committee had approved and sent a $10.10 minimum wage bill to the Senate floor on Tuesday, the day before Obama’s visit here promoting a higher federal minimum.” [CT Mirror, 3/7/14]
Walker Called Raising Minimum Wage “Political Grandstanding.” The Associated Press reported, “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says raising the minimum wage is a ‘political grandstanding stunt’ that will kill jobs… Walker said raising the minimum wage will lead to job losses and opportunities for young people to find entry-level positions.” [Associated Press, 1/23/14]
Gov. Rick Snyder’s Office Said Minimum Wage Increase Wasn’t “A Burning Issue.” “A spokesman for Snyder’s office called the proposed change a ‘significant hike’ that could ‘pose real challenges.’ […] ‘It hasn’t been a burning issue because Michigan is already above the federal minimum,’ said Snyder spokesperson Dave Murray in a statement.” [MLive, 11/18/13]
Corbett signals he won’t push to hike minimum wage. Gov. Tom Corbett is signaling that he won’t support an increase in Pennsylvania’s minimum wage, saying he’s worried about the impact on the state’s economy. Corbett told the Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre on Friday that he has no plans to encourage lawmakers to increase Pennsylvania’s $7.25-an-hour minimum wage. Corbett said the economy’s starting to come back from the recession and he’s worried about changing the economic dynamic. [Associated Press, 12/7/13]
LePage Vetoed Minimum Wage Hike. In 2013 LePage vetoed a bill that “would incrementally increase the minimum wage from the current $7.50 per hour to $9 an hour by 2015, followed by annual increases tied to inflation… LePage wrote in his veto letter that Maine should focus on creating better jobs rather than improving its lowest-paying jobs.” [Bangor Daily News, 7/8/13]
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin Signed Law Banning Cities From Raising Minimum Wage. “Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday signed a measure that bars cities and towns from increasing the minimum wage above the state rate… ‘[M]ost minimum wage workers are young, single people working part-time or entry level jobs,’ Fallin said. ‘Many are high school or college students living with their parents in middle-class families.’” [Tulsa World, 4/15/14]
Christie Vetoed Minimum Wage Increase. “Gov. Chris Christie rejected a bill today to raise the minimum wage and countered with a proposal of his own, virtually ensuring Democrats will ask voters in November whether they favor a $1-an-hour increase. Christie said the Democrats’ bill, which would have raised the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 and tied future increases to the rate of inflation, would have hurt the state’s economy.” [Star-Ledger, 1/28/13]
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez Vetoed Minimum Wage Increase. “Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has vetoed a proposal by the Democratic-controlled Legislature that would have increased New Mexico’s minimum wage to the fourth highest in the nation. Martinez followed through on an earlier threat and rejected the measure on Friday that would have boosted the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour from $7.50. The governor said the proposed increase would have cost the state jobs.” [Associated Press, 3/29/13]