Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has shifted his stance on the minimum wage, suggesting that it should be raised despite his earlier claim that it was already too high. The business mogul's comments signal that he may be against a federal minimum wage, despite calls for a raise.
Trump has stated that he would leave the minimum wage up to states but that they should be raised. His comments appear to be a shift away from his primary positions, while also leaving room for him to pivot back to his original stance.
On May 8, Trump made the rounds on cable news, discussing his policy proposals and his likely general election showdown with Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton.
The business mogul told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he would be open to raising the federal minimum wage.
“I am looking at it, and I haven’t decided in terms of numbers,” Trump said. “But I think people have to get more.”
This is in stark contrast to the business mogul’s view on the minimum wage during the Republican primary race. During a November 2015 primary debate, Trump said that U.S. wages were already too high, according to Talking Points Memo.
“We’re not going to be able to compete against the world,” Trump said on the debate stage. “I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is.”
Now Trump appears to be mulling a bump up in the current $7.25 federal minimum. Stephanopoulos observed that this was a policy reversal.
“Sure. it’s a change,” Trump responded. “I’m allowed to change. You need flexibility, George [...] my real minimum wage is going to be -- I'm going to bring companies back into this country, and they're going to make a lot more than the $15 even.”
Trump appeared to be musing on a crucial economic policy off the cuff, leaving open both possibilities that he could push for a federal minimum wage hike or raise wages through economic prosperity.
Trump discussed the minimum wage again during an interview with NBC News’ Chuck Todd, who asked the business mogul why his stance on the minimum wage had changed.
“I have seen what’s going on,” Trump said. “And I don’t know how people make it on $7.25 an hour … I would like to see an increase of some magnitude. But I’d rather leave it to the states.”
When asked if the federal government should set a base minimum wage, Trump responded “No, I’d rather have the states go out and do what they have to do. And the states compete with each other, not only other countries, but they compete with each other, Chuck.”