Bernie Sanders: “I believe that over the next few years, not tomorrow, over the next few years, we’ve got to move the minimum wage to a living wage, 15 bucks an hour. And I apologize to nobody for that,” Sanders said.
Hillary Clinton: “If we went to $15, there are no international comparisons, that is why I support a $12 national federal minimum wage,” she said. “That is what the Democrats in the Senate have put forward as a proposal, but I do believe that is a minimum, and places like Seattle, like Los Angeles, like New York City, they can go higher.”
Martin O’ Malley: “This was not merely theory in Maryland, we actually did it,” he said. “$10.10 was all I could get the state to do by the time I left, but two of our counties actually went to $12.80,” he said. O’Malley now advocates a $15 minimum wage.
Donald Trump: Says raising the minimum wage creates “a lot of problems.” (Like reducing poverty and creating jobs?) Supports creating two minimum wages, one for high school students and a slightly higher one for adults.
Jeb Bush: Supports eliminating the federal minimum wage: “We need to leave it to the private sector…The federal government shouldn’t be doing this. The federal government doing this will make it harder and harder for the first rung of the ladder to be reached, particularly for young people, particularly for people that have less education.” Believes the minimum wage “perpetuates” poverty.
Marco Rubio: Believes a focus on the minimum wage is “a waste of time.” “My problem with raising the minimum wage is not that I want to deny someone $10.10. I’m worried about the people whose wages are going to go down to zero because you’ve made them more expensive than a machine.”
Ben Carson: Supports raising the minimum wage, and believes it is a way for individuals to be removed from public assistance programs. “I think, probably, it should be higher than now.”
But has also praised minimum wage work: “It’s important for those in poverty to work hard, even with minimal wages they gain knowledge and skill that will allow for upward progress.”
“Recognize that if you go and take that chicken job, you gain skills, relationships, the possibility of moving up the ladder. So a year or two or five down the road, you’re no longer in that position. This is what people have forgotten.”
Rand Paul: Doesn’t support increasing the minimum wage. “The minimum wage is a temporary thing.” “It is a fact, an economic fact, that when you raise the minimum wage, the people that are hurt the worst are minorities and kids” (Actually a CAP study found raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 would boost wages for people of color by over $16 billion.) He said last year that a $6 minimum wage is “fine.”
Mike Huckabee: Believes the minimum wage hurts entry-level workers.
“Instead of fighting over the minimum wage, why don’t we focus on solutions that help every American earn his or her maximum wage.”
“If you get suckered into believing some politician is looking out for you because he wants to keep you locked into a low minimum wage, tell him you’ve got a better idea. Tell him you can do better than his minimum wage.” He argues that Jesus would oppose the minimum wage, as an example of people who want to be paid more than they originally agreed to. But as governor he signed into law a minimum wage increase in Arkansas in 2006.
Ted Cruz: “I think the minimum wage consistently hurts the most vulnerable.” He has said $0 is the “real Obama minimum wage.”
“If you raise the minimum wage, the inevitable effect will be, number one, young people will lose their jobs or not be able to get their first jobs.” “Unemployment among young people will go up if the minimum wage goes up as President Obama says. Unemployment among Hispanics, among African Americans, among those struggling to get their first job to climb the economic ladder, will go up.”
Chris Christie: “I’m tired of hearing about the minimum wage. I really am. I don’t think there’s a mother or father sitting around a kitchen table tonight saying ‘you know honey, if our son or daughter could just make a higher minimum wage, my god – all our dreams would be realized.” (Polling support suggests three in four Americans are doing just that.)
John Kasich: Is “concerned” about raising the minimum wage, though was powerless to stop an automatic fifteen-cent minimum wage increase in Ohio.
Rick Santorum: Supports a small increase to the minimum wage. Thinks it is important that Republicans support a wage hike to reach out to the middle class. “I’ve proposed a 50 cents an hour raise per year for three years. Keeping it in that area provides a floor for wages — a worker protection device — and it doesn’t have an inflationary effect on wages or increase unemployment.”
“It’s hard to go out and make the argument that Republicans are making that this is going to have some sort of cataclysmic effect on workers. For me, it’s a worker protection issue, and also an issue that connects with the people who look at the Republican agenda and don’t see anything concrete that indicates we have any understanding of what folks experience at the lower end of the income spectrum.”
Carly Fiorina: “The sad truth is that raising the minimum wage will hurt those who are looking for entry-level jobs.” Has incorrectly argued that 62% of minimum wage workers are still in high school, when the actual number is closer to a third.