Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Friday that he believes the Republican Party ought to get on board with raising the minimum wage.
“I part company with many of the conservatives in my party on the issue of the minimum wage. I think we ought to raise it,” Romney said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “Because frankly our party is all about more jobs and better pay, and I think communicating that is important to us.”
The former Massachusetts governor had waffled on the issue during the lead-up to the 2012 presidential election. He first expressing support for indexing the minimum wage to keep pace with inflation before asserting there was no need to raise it. Romney didn’t say on “Morning Joe” how much of a minimum wage increase he would support.
Romney also argued that income inequality has grown during the Obama administration, hitting black and Hispanic families particularly hard. That gives the GOP an opportunity to court those minority communities, he said.
“Key for our party is to be able to convince the people who are in the working population, particularly the Hispanic community, that our party will help them get better jobs and better wages,” he said.
In the wide-ranging interview, Romney was also asked whether he thought it was wrong for congressional Republicans to use the upcoming select committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks in their fundraising efforts.
“There would not be an investigation into Benghazi, there would not be an investigation into the IRS, were there not a Republican House,” he responded. “And so to say, look, elect Republicans so we can have these kinds of investigations is appropriate.”
This post has been updated.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.