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Posted by on Sep 30, 2010 in Economy, Politics | 0 comments

Linda McMahon Suggests Reviewing the Minimum Wage

It’s becoming increasingly clear that if you had assumptions about “givens” about the way the country operates, you may as well un-assumption yourself because some GOPers running for office say things that suddenly come out of left right field that suggest that these supposedly shared assumptions are not shared by all. One “given” is fact that the U.S. has a minimum wage.

Who running for office would dare to re-think it since even raising the issue would a)make some voters uneasy b)give his/her opponent a big, fat opening c)create a comment that would be (rightfully) pounced on on by the media in a time when a word or sentence can spark a mini-tiresetorm?? Apparently the Republican candidate for Senate in Connecticut, businesswoman Linda McMahon, who suggested it. Later a spin statement was put out to pull back from the comments — and even try to suggest that she was suggesting the opposite of what it was clear she was suggesting.

The Huffington Post reports:

Linda McMahon, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Connecticut, suggested Thursday that the U.S. ought to take a second look at the federal minimum wage.

“The minimum wage now in our country, I think we’ve set that, so there are a lot of people have benefited from it in our country, but I think we ought to review how much it ought to be, and whether or not we ought to have increases in the minimum wage,” McMahon said at a press conference.

After the event, “McMahon admitted she didn’t know what the current minimum wage is or if any of her employees at World Wrestling Entertainment are paid it,” reported. McMahon was CEO of the WWE before launching her Senate campaign.

The paper The Day’s report suggests that McMahon herself may have realized that by saying what she did she had stepped on it :

McMahon’s staff quickly ended the press conference as reporters asked McMahon to elaborate on what changes she would call for in government regulation of business.

As a crush of reporters moved with McMahon through the business toward the candidate’s SUV, McMahon said she didn’t want to imply that the minimum wage should be eliminated altogether.

“Don’t take away this morning that I’m saying that we should scrap minimum wage,” she said. “That is clearly not my position.”

McMahon said she didn’t know if anyone at World Wrestling Entertainment, the company of which she was CEO until her campaign began, is paid the minimum wage. And the candidate would not say whether she believes Connecticut’s minimum wage — $8.25 per hour — was too high, or onerous on state businesses.

“You know, guys,” she said, “I’m just not going to comment anymore on that.”

If she did not feel that way, couldn’t she had said “No”?

After news outlets reported on McMahon’s comments, the campaign released a video of McMahon assuring reporters, as she left the press conference, that she was not in favor of eliminating the minimum wage increases outright.

And here’s the HufPo’s update which gives the campaign explanation later:

The McMahon campaign says reporters are wrong to suggest McMahon favors lowering the minimum wage. From a spokesman: “I think a good deal of creative interpretation is needed for anybody to take away from these quotes that she is in favor of reducing the minimum wage. She is clearly saying that we ought to review whether this is in fact the time to raise the rate. It’s impossible to accept the spin that a handful of reporters are putting on this without changing the definition of the word ‘review.’ That word is not one and the same with ‘cut’. Noah Webster, I’m certain, is turning over in his grave today.”


Even a head of cabbage in the produce department at Von’s grocery store on Adams Avenue in San Diego would read this story and walk away from it thinking that she’s either talking about it being too high or wonders whether it’s a good idea.

But, these days, if a campaign says it’s sunny when it’s raining some will believe it.

McMahon could win her Senate race against the damaged-goods Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

But her comments do show where she’s leaning on the issue of the minimum wage.

And it isn’t towards having a passion to raise it.