Former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has voiced his support for raising the minimum wage.
“I, for instance, as you know, part company with many of the conservatives in my party on the issue of minimum wage. I think we ought to raise it. Because frankly, our party is all about more jobs and better pay,” Romney said in an interview, according to Politico.
Although Romney is no longer politically active, his words still carry weight in the Republican Party. His support of wage increases demonstrates the bipartisan nature of the issue, and might push Republican supporters to align more closely with his view point.
Growing support for a minimum wage increase at the federal hit a speed bump recently, as Senate Republicans rejected a vote that would have raised the minimum to $10.10. Romney’s public declaration of support for wage increases were a direct response to the bill’s failure in the Senate.
While the federal government stagnates on the issue, certain states have taken action on their own. Hawaii legislators recently passed a bill raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10, the same amount currently used in Connecticut and Maryland.
The issue of wage increases has proved divisive within the GOP, with certain prominent members such as Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum echoing Romney’s sentiments while others disagree.