Former Massachusetts Gov. and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has remained true to his party throughout the 2016 race, but lately he has been outspoken about a significant qualm he has with the GOP.
Romney has long advocated for raising the minimum wage, a view that apparently none of this year’s Republican candidates shares. In a recent interview with the Washington Post, Romney shared that frankly, he thinks that’s “nuts.”
“As a party we speak a lot about deregulation and tax policy, and you know what? People have been hearing that for 25 years, and they’re getting tired of that message,” Romney said in a recent interview. He added, “I think we’re nuts not to raise the minimum wage. I think, as a party, to say we’re trying to help the middle class of America and the poor and not raise the minimum wage sends exactly the wrong signal.”
This is not a new stance for Romney, whose 2012 platform included a minimum wage hike.
It’s not, however, looking like this year’s Republican candidates will heed Romney’s advice. In fact, many GOP candidates, including former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, have suggested making the federal minimum wage $0.
MSNBC reported that Fiorina sees the federal minimum wage as “unconstitutional” and Rubio doesn’t think it “works.” Bush holds that minimum wage laws should be left to the states, not the federal government.
During the Kemp Forum on Expanding Opportunity in South Carolina last weekend, several GOP candidates were given an opportunity to share their approaches to combatting poverty. None of them proposed an increase in the minimum wage.