McMahon and minimum wage: the transcript
As you can see if you read Politico, Linda McMahon's campaign is objecting to the way we and others have reported on the Republican Senate candidate's comments about the minimum wage. In her press conference today in East Hartford, McMahon declined to rule out the possibility of reducing the federal minimum wage, saying that and other mandates on business should be considered by lawmakers along with their effects on businesses.
McMahon spokesman Ed Patru, who didn't attend the press conference in question, told Politico that reporters were guilty of "creative interpretation"and that McMahon was "clearly saying that we ought to review whether this is in fact the time to raise the rate."
She did say that, but as the following transcript of the press conference shows, when the question of whether to lower the minimum wage was asked, McMahon again said that that should be weighed against businesses' ability to afford the requirement.
The transcript is below. It is edited in two places, where McMahon received questions on other issues. After the final question on the minimum wage, the candidate briefly responded to a question about health care before her press aides shut down the press conference. She later told other reporters that she was not calling for the elimination of the minimum wage altogether.
Mark Pazniokas, Connecticut Mirror: Do you endorse the NFIB legislative agenda which includes opposition to any further increases in the federal minimum wage, relaxation of certain requirements on businesses of the American with Disabilities Act, how do you feel about things like that? Are you on board?
McMahon: "What I think we have to look at whenever we are talking about minimum wage increases is where is our economy at this particular point and how is that going to impact the businesses that are going to have to pay those wages, and I think that is part of what I bring to the table is understanding the consequences that affect the business by putting mandatory incareases in place. It is the fellow who is running the retail store that is hiring kids to wrap presents at Christmas time. It gets all the way down to that level, and how can you afford all of those different services., so I think all of the business plans that are being put forward in government today we need to review and make sure what those consequences are."
Mark Davis, News 8: Would you have supported the Fair Wage Standards Act of 1938? It implemented minimum wage law in 1938 and was ruled constitutiontal in 1941, would you have supported it?
McMahon: "We can be reflective on our history when things were place and what they were put in place. I think today when we are looking at whether or not when wage increases ought to go forrward in our state and inour country we have to look at our total economy and the impact on it."
Paul Hughes, Waterbury Republican-American: Getting back to Mark's question: Do you think there should be a minimum wage?
McMahon: "Well, the minimum wage now in our country, I think we have set that, and so there are a lot of people who have benefit from that, but I think we need to review how much it ought to be, and whether or not we ought to have increases in the minimum wage, and how is it planned, does it get tied to inflation, or are there just automatic increases in it, and I think we should always review the policies that have been put in place to make sure that they are in keeping with the needs today."
Ted Mann, The Day: Should it be reduced now? Since businesses are struggling, as you all described? Would you argue for reducing the minimum wage now?
McMahon: "We have got minimum wages in states, we have got minimum wages in the (federal) government, and I think we ought to look at all of those issues in terms of what mandates are being placed on businesses and can they afford them. I think we should get input from our business community. We should listen to our small business operators and we should hear what it is they have to say and how it's impacting their businesses and make some of those decisions."
[Paz moves on to ask about which mandates she would roll back]
I've asked McMahon's people for a clarification of her position, and when they respond, I'll post it.
Updated: CT News Junkie has video of the press conference.
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