With all the recent talk in congress (and cable news) about the minimum wage, there have been some people who have come out in favor of raising it that may be surprising.
Conservative politicians and pundits, as well as many business people, when asked, are generally against raising the minimum wage. The Huffington Post put together a list of these people.
Former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Friday “I think we ought to raise it. Because frankly, our party is all about more jobs and better pay.” In 2012, Romney said he supported automatic minimum wage hikes tied to inflation.
Rick Santorum, former Senator from Pennsylvania and presidential hopeful, appearing on “The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd” said “Let’s not make this argument that we’re for the blue-collar guy but we’re against any minimum wage hike ever,” he said, adding “It just makes no sense.”
Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota and another presidential candidate also went on “Morning Joe” and said “Republicans should support reasonable increases to the minimum wage. If you’re going to talk the talk about being for the middle-class working person, if we have a minimum wage it should be reasonably adjusted from time to time.”
A November 6, 2013 Gallup poll found that 76 percent were in favor of raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour with 22 percent opposing.
It wasn’t just politicians who have an R after their name who support an increase, there were also conservative pundits.
Bill O’Reilly, Fox News host, is in favor of raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour. “I say fine, up it. I don’t think it’s a big deal,” he said on “The O’Reilly Factor.”
Phyllis Schlafly, activist and founder of “The Eagle Forum” wrote “Legislation to raise the minimum wage would elevate many low-wage earners above the income threshold that qualifies them for benefits and should result in reduced welfare spending. That’s a tradeoff Republicans could support.”
Fred Deluca, CEO of Subway, also supports a minimum wage increase. Deluca said on CNBC “Over the years, I’ve seen so many of these wage increases. I think it’s normal. It won’t have a negative impact hopefully, and that’s what I tell my workers,” he said. Deluca had previously been against an increase.
John Gainor, CEO of Dairy Queen told CNN“People need to be paid a fair wage. Let’s be honest: the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which leaves millions of Americans deep in poverty isn’t fair.”