Mitt Romney said Thursday that he supports raising the minimum wage, though he won't say by how much. (Probably not very much.)
“I, for instance, as you know, 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 "Morning Joe." “Because, frankly, our party is all about more jobs and better pay.”
Romney wouldn't endorse the $10.10 figure that Senate Republicans recently rejected, and wouldn't come out with a concrete number where he thinks the new minimum wage should be set. But he did offer vague support for a theoretical bump, which does make him something of a "maverick" in the party right now. But Republican support for an increase to the minimum wage isn't entirely unheard of, really -- it's just that the raises they come up with are usually pretty pathetic and will leave a lot of workers struggling to make ends meet.
New Mexico Gov. Susanna Martinez is in favor of raising the minimum wage in her state -- by 30 cents. When state Democrats passed a measure raising the minimum wage from $7.50 to $8.50 -- a whopping 70 cents more than Martinez would have liked -- she vetoed it and then chastised the Legislature for having the audacity to approve a slightly less terrible wage for workers in the state. “I was clear with lawmakers that I support an increase in the minimum wage in New Mexico — one that would put us on a level playing field with neighboring states,” she said at the time.
As Politico notes, Rick Santorum and Tim Pawlenty have also come out in support of raising the minimum wage.
When the "Morning Joe" panel asked Romney about his plans for 2016, he very sensibly replied that maybe the GOP would be better served by a candidate without his, uh, loser baggage. "I think our best prospects of getting back the White House are with someone who has not run twice before as I have," he said.