New Hampshire Republican Congressional candidate Marilinda Garcia dismissed raising the minimum wage as a “wedge issue” by President Barack Obama’s administration that actually wouldn’t help people and instead is just a “petty, short-sighted type of little issue.”
Garcia, considered a rising star among conservative Republicans, made the comments Monday evening during an interview with Chris Ryan on his Pints and Politics show on WKXL in Concord, New Hampshire. The comments were flagged by the opposition-research shop American Bridge.
“I voted against increasing the state minimum wage when I was in the legislature,” Garcia said. “It seems to be sort of a petty — not punitive is the wrong word — but kind of just a petty, short-sighted type of little issue that the President’s administration decided to champion for a time to then use as a wedge issue.”
Garcia goes on to say that a minimum wage increase would be slight for the recipients but would be “catastrophic” for the job market. She also calls a hike “trite.”
“Every employer I’ve talked to says —about deals with the minimum wage says ‘look I will literally be laying people off.’ Now I ask you, is giving someone a dollar, $1.15 increase helpful or better for them than actually not losing that job to begin with?” Garcia continued. “So what you’re doing is you’re forcing people to choose between laying people off completely and losing their job or having a somewhat trite and meaningless wage —excuse me raise, and your wage that doesn’t do in fact do anything to make your life more affordable, allow for the cost of living, help you heat your home, fill your car, and all these other —afford your healthcare— and all these things we’re dealing with. So yeah, I’m opposed to raising it.”
A November Gallup poll found that about three quarters of Americans support an increase in the minimum wage. New Hampshire’s minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, according to the Department of Labor. Obama and Democrats have strongly expressed support for raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
Garcia, who has been endorsed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and prominent tea party groups, is the Republican nominee for Congress seeking to replace Rep. Ann Kuster (D-NH).
She previously made headlines for refusing to say whether she got her health care through the Obamacare exchange.
Listen to Garcia’s comments below: