On July 26, Donald Trump told Fox News reporter Bill O’Reilly that he would support raising the federal minimum wage.
Trump appeared on the O’Reilly Factor one day after Bernie Sanders addressed delegates and viewers of the 2016 Democratic National Convention. In his speech, the Vermont senator said that Trump had plans to allow states to lower the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
“When Bernie Sanders said I want to go less than what the minimum wage, I mean, honestly, Bill, these people are lying so much," Trump told O’Reilly.
“There has to be a minimum wage,” The Fox News host said.
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“There doesn't have to be,” Trump responded, CNN reports. “I would leave it and raise it somewhat. You need to help people.”
O’Reilly asked Trump how high he would raise the minimum wage. After some prodding, Trump said raising the hourly amount to $10 would be justifiable, so long as the states make the decision to do so.
“I'd rather have the states go out and do what they have to do,” he said, Business Insider reports. “And the states compete with each other, not only other countries.”
Trump’s desire to leave wage debates to state officials remains consistent with opinions stated at the Fox Business Republican Debate in November 2015.
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His support for raising the minimum wage, however, contrasts with comments made at the fall 2015 debate.
Referring to the current hourly wage of $7.25, Trump said: “I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is. People have to go out, they have to work really hard, and they have to get into that upper stratum. But we cannot do this if we are going to compete with the rest of the world; we just can’t do it.”
Responses to Trump’s appearances on the “O’Reilly Factor” have been mixed.
Think Progress criticized him for “three different positions on the issue in less than 30 seconds.”
Others have stated that Trump has been open to increasing the minimum wage for a while now. In May, Trump told CNN that he is “looking at [raising the minimum wage].”
“I’m open to doing something with it,” he said, adding that he is “very different from most Republicans.”