Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Friday that he supports efforts to increase the federal minimum wage, affirming his stance on an issue he has backed since he was the governor of Massachusetts.
“I, for instance, as you know, part company with many of the conservatives in my party on the issue of the minimum wage. I think we ought to raise it,” Romney said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “Because frankly, our party is all about more jobs and better pay.”
He said the Republican Party must convince minority voters that it’s the party that truly cares about employment and job creation.
“The Democratic Party has shown that over the past five years of their leadership, income inequality has become worse,” Romney said. “And the policies over the past five years have not worked for Hispanic families or African-American families.”
As governor of Massachusetts, Romney supported gradual increases to the minimum wage, provided the increases kept pace with inflation.
Romney later backed this idea as a Republican presidential candidate in 2008 and again in 2012 when he ran against President Barack Obama.
“I haven’t changed my thoughts on that,” he told reporters in 2012.
The U.S. Senate in April rejected a bill that would have raised the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, prompting condemnation from the White House and its allies.
“An increase in the minimum wage obviously won’t make a millionaire of anyone, but it will ensure that each full-time working American receives a wage they can live on and that will give them a fighting chance to get ahead in the economy,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) just before the effort failed in the Democratic-controlled Senate. “Every hard-working American should have the opportunity to put a roof over their head and that of their family, and every full-time employee should have a fair shot at the American dream.”
Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter