Trump’s position on minimum wage has varied pretty wildly. Like many of his positions, abortion and free trade to name a few, his stance on minimum wage has fluctuated from one side of the debate to the other and back again, so it is hard to pin him down.
At his news conference on Tuesday, Trump misquoted Bernie Sanders about Trump’s stance on minimum wage, then called him a liar. “Now, Bernie Sanders lied. Bernie Sanders said in his speech the other day that Donald Trump wants the minimum wage to go below $7. I said, where did he come up with that one?” Saying an opponent “lied” is a pretty strong claim, surely Donald Trump is correct? Let’s look at Bernie Sander’s actual words, because apparently Trump couldn’t be bothered to check them.
“[Trump] does not support raising the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, a starvation wage. While Trump believes in huge tax breaks, huge tax breaks for billionaires, he believes that states should actually have the right to lower the minimum wage below $7.25,” Sanders said at the DNC. That is what Bernie said, which is quite a bit different than saying that “Trump want the minimum wage to go below $7.”
Trump is actually in favor of raising the minimum wage to $10 per hour, but has said that he wants to eliminate the Federal minimum wage. He would leave it up to the states, even if that meant lowering to below its current level of $7.25.
“The minimum wage has to go up. … At least $10 but it has to go up. But I think that states … I think that states should really call the shots,” he clarified on Tuesday in the same news conference that he called Bernie Sanders a liar for saying that exact same thing. Trump was pretty clear about not having a federal minimum wage floor in a May 8th interview with Chuck Todd:
TODD: Right. You want the fed– but should the federal government set a floor, and then you let the states–
TRUMP: 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. So I like the idea of let the states decide.
As WDTLAY previously reported, he said on May 9th that he doesn’t “know how people make it on $7.25 an hour. Now, with that being said, I would like to see an increase of some magnitude, but I’d rather leave it to the states. Let the states decide, because don’t forget, the states have to compete with each other…So I like the idea of let the states decide.” He seems to have settled into this position, having stuck with it for almost three months now.