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Rauner now hedges on lowering minimum wage

Wednesday, Jan 8, 2014

* Southern Illinoisan

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner’s “Shake Up Springfield” bus tour made a stop Tuesday at the Italian Village restaurant in Carbondale.

Rauner called Illinois the worst run state in America, citing high unemployment, deficits and deteriorating schools. […]

Rauner would not rule out minimum wage increases or decreases, but he said any change to the minimum wage should be a comprehensive approach that makes labor regulations and the tax burden more attractive to small businesses and improves the education system.

Hedging, eh?

* Here’s what John Gregory at the Illinois Radio Network reported him saying at an earlier time

Bruce Rauner believes Illinois should do the opposite, and lower it to $7.25. “I will advocate moving the Illinois minimum wage back to the national minimum wage. I think we’ve got to be competitive here in Illinois,” Rauner said.

Sounds like a strong position, forcefully held.

* But that IRN quote was picked up by the mainstream media after I posted it here, so Rauner may have decided to run away from his “courageous” position. Here’s Rauner’s full Carbondale quote from yesterday, provided by SI reporter Chris Hottensen…

“What we should really do is be comprehensive in our approach. We need to become pro-business again. If we do raise the minimum wage, we should do it in the context of making our labor regulations and our tax burden much more attractive to small business so we have a growing economy so everybody’s got jobs. The reality is if we only increase the minimum wage we could end up hurting the very folks we’re trying to help. Unemployment could go up, small business owners could shut their doors, business owners could leave the state. We have to be competitive and if we don’t have a booming economy with people getting hired we’ll defeat the very purpose for raising the minimum wage.

“If we move it to a level where we are at the same level as the national wage that will allow us to be competitive and create more job opportunities.

“But to lower it would hurt some lower income folks and we should only do that in the context of dramatically improving our schools and creating a business environment where everybody’s got jobs so we don’t have such a brutally high unemployment rate.”

Yep, that’s a hedge, and not a very artful one, either.

* The national polling on this issue has been pretty clear. Click here to see several polls that show strong support for hiking the minimum wage.

* A December Washington Post-ABC poll asked “The minimum wage in this country is now seven dollars and 25 cents an hour. What do you think it should be?”

All respondents…



Conservative Republicans…

So, even a strong 60 percent majority of conservative Republicans would like to see an increase in the minimum wage. While a quarter or so would like it to remain the same or lowered, and a tiny handful says it needs to be eliminated.

No wonder he’s hedging.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    Can’t unring a bell …

    Good luck with that, “Bruce Rauner”.

  2. - Steve - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    Is Bruce Rauner part of the re-elect Pat Quinn movement???

  3. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    Too late Bruce. You’re not going to walk that one back.

  4. - olddog - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    So it’s OK to “hurt some lower income folks” as long as we’re “improving our schools and creating a business environment where everybody’s got jobs?” That’s what the man just said. Did he realize he was talking to a reporter?

  5. - PoolGuy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    now he’s starting to sound like the typical politician. say something one day, it doesn’t poll well, then spend several days backtracking.

  6. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    Farmer Bruce made $53 million last year in Illinois, but the business climate is bad?

    I hope part of his “comprehensive approach” includes some of his pals at the Civvy corporations paying some sort of corporate income tax and giving up all those tax breaks and handouts.

    Small businesses carry the load on the $2.5 billion of Illinois corporate income tax.

    Maybe those Civvie corporations that added billions in value last year can start pulling their weight.

    And, no, Farmer Bruce, you can’t unring that bell. You want to cut the minimum wage, own it.

  7. - Aldyth - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    I’m sure Romney would like a do-over on his 47% statement, too.

  8. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    Methinks Brucie is a bit out of touch with the 99%ers…what an arrogant boob…

  9. - Almost the Weekend - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    Is there footage of this or just audio?

    What a great commercial that would make

  10. - Northsider - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    Mitt Rauner, or Bruce Kramden? Hamana-hamana-hamana.

    But he’s a One Percenter, so let’s stop quibbling and let him be in charge as is the natural way of things.

  11. - Sir Reel - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:28 am:

    He originally thought those making minimum wage were teenagers from Winnetka who spent their wages on video games, clothes, etc. He’s learning that many making minimum wage are trying to support a family. Typical R view of the world.

  12. - walker - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:28 am:

    It’s a loser, Bruce.

    It hasn’t ever actually worked to drive growth or competitiveness economically, and shouldn’t even be considered part of a package.

  13. - truthteller - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:35 am:

    No surprise a hedge funder is hedging. He is a pro at that

  14. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:38 am:

    Can’t wait for the debates…

  15. - Wallendar - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    Is he kidding? Auditioning for SNL?
    A billionaire wants to reduce the wages of the already lowest paid workers? LOL where do the repubs come UP with these candidates?? Keep ‘em coming!

  16. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    It’s sad we even have to have a minimum wage, but we most certainly do. These should be “starter jobs” for young people or pen money jobs for part timers. What we really need to spend time and effort on is not minimum wage jobs, but good jobs that sustain families. I’m not downgrading its importance, but these are not the kinds of jobs we should be spending this much time talking about.

  17. - Rod - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    Lucky for Pat Quinn that Rauner so desperately wants to become a victim of class war politics. Assuming Pat’s advisers are reasonably intelligent they will store Rauner’s opposition to the current minimum wage for the general election. Please Republicans vote up Rauner in the primary. Also good job by Rich in providing oppositional research, no doubt this saves the Quinn campaign several thousand bucks.

  18. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    ===I’m not downgrading its importance, but these are not the kinds of jobs we should be spending this much time talking about.===

    Well, Bruce had no problem talking about cutting it here in Illinois, so maybe it will come up again.

    I bet Bruce doens’t want to talk about it anymore either. lol

  19. - Buster - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:10 pm:

    It’s good to see Rauner saying stupid things that will be used against him by his opponents.
    However, it’s scary that a lot of voters probably agree with Rauner’sh rants.

  20. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    Meanwhile, according to SBOE, Rauner’s Colorado self-storage mystery man dropped another $50K on him through give different entities.

    What’s the deal on this Richard Graham?

  21. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:20 pm:

    Willie, I agree. I bet he doesn’t either.

  22. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    Rauner was doing better when he refused to give details on his positions. Heh.

  23. - Makandadawg - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:26 pm:

    Rich, here is some video of his quotes.–239165841.html

  24. - Smoggie - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:29 pm:

    I find his backtrack sort of amusing.

    “So, once we get ourselves great schools and we take care of the unemployment problem . . .”

    Well OK, Bruce. If you fix those two problems, we can talk about lowering the minimum wage.

    Seems like we’ve been working on those two problems pretty much since the day Illinois joined the union. Who knows. Maybe Bruce can fix them now. If he can, I will cut the guy some slack on the wage thing.

  25. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:30 pm:

    Rauner really ought to stay away from mentioning schools. Because when he does the first thing I think of is his daughter taking someone else’s place at Peyton when she could have gone to New Trier.

  26. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:41 pm:

    ===Well OK, Bruce. If you fix those two problems, we can talk about lowering the minimum wage.===

    LOL Smoggie. But don’t forget, lowering the minimum wage will result in an increase in Medicaid enrollment, so we’ll need to fix that too.

    Taxpayers are already providing the employee health insurance for big guys like Walmart and McDonald’s. Rauner wants taxpayers to pay more to subsidize these corporate titans. Who does he think the “takers” really are? Poor folks or his CEO buddies, always with their hands out for a tax break or a subsidy?

    It is almost criminal that someone can work full-time in this country and not be able to afford health insurance without the taxpayers kicking-in to cover it.

  27. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    “Smithers, how much are we paying the drones in this state? No more than a sixpence a week, I hope. We need to remain competitive”

    “Sir, our pollster says that raising the minimum wage is quite popular, even among conservative voters.”

    “Very well, change my position at once!”

  28. - Living in Machiaville - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    What some seem to be missing is that Dillard’s “Jeffersonian” position of letting the marketplace decide is way more controversial and if people in polls understood how the economics of wage rates worked vis-a-vis employment, they would probably not be in favor. But since most don’t, nor do many even sign a paycheck on the front it’s easy to say “yes, increase wages”. But then we are talking about political positions here, not what’s good for employment and workers.

  29. - William j Kelly - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 3:07 pm:

    Was he for it before he was against it? Or was he against before he was for it? Hopefully now that Rahm is back from his tropical vacation Bruce’s campaign will be back on track.

  30. - Anon III - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 3:52 pm:

    The real problem here is concealed-carry. Bruce obviously was fumbling for his car keys, triggered his lightweight .38 snub-nosed, and shot himself in the foot.

  31. - Just The Way It Is One - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 5:00 pm:

    …AND so, (and many thanks to the BlogMaster for the reprint) 77% of ALL Respondents want the minimum wage ABOVE the Federal wage of $7.25/hr., with 65% of ALL RePUBlicans ALso in that category!! Enough said. The bottom line with all of this is that Rauner either didn’t do his homework on this, or scarier yet, as one who thinks himself capable of best running our Beloved Home State, actually beLIEVES the garbage he’s been spewing out about it–the BIGgest Heap of Trash of ALL being his feeble attempt at HEDGing on the issue today since he’s been getting (sorry but can’t resist) HAMMERED over it for the past 24 hours…!

  32. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 6:45 pm:

    Rauner got burned and now he’s backpedaling so much that he now supports raising the federal minimum wage. Riiiiight.

    That’s a somersault and a half. Somewhere Romney is looking on with envy.

  33. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 7:49 pm:

    Rauner does a quick spin and pretends to be progressive:,0,6486214.story

  34. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 9:23 pm:


    Wheels coming off the Shake Up Express?

    I’m here all week.

  35. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 9:31 pm:

    - AA -;

    We must get in on this payday before they shut it down the money tree visits!

    $7.25 to $10. in less than 24 hours. I have seen eBay auctions with less fluctuation!

  36. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 9:40 pm:

    –“But to lower it would hurt some lower income folks and we should only do that in the context of dramatically improving our schools and creating a business environment where everybody’s got jobs so we don’t have such a brutally high unemployment rate.”–

    Try reading that a few times without your head hurting.

    So, after we’ve dramatically improved schools and achieved full employment through a better business environment, that will be the time to lower the minimum wage and hurt low income folks.

    Do I have that right, Mr. Run-the-State-Like-a-Business?

  37. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 9:47 pm:

    Bill Brady had the best response of the 4, period. Got to give the props to the Brady Crew, now if they could make some hay out of it, that would have been better.

    Dan Rutherford’s was just bland. Pick a lane and go after Rauner on the misstep.

    Kirk Dillard’s response was so confusing, either it was “smug”, snarky, intellegent, “Press Release Goulash” or all the above, trying to be none of the above.

    Pat Quinn let Rauner twist, and that is a good move for the man facing no one till April.

    Today, no snark, felt like the first “Real” campaign day. Felt pretty good too.

  38. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:57 pm:

    Rauner now says in the Trib that his proposal to lower the minimum wage by a buck was “a mistake,” “flippant,” and that he’s “sorry.”

    I bet he is. You’re supposed to think that stuff, not say it out loud.

    He also said that people calling him on it are engaged in “class warfare,” lol.

    Dig this guy: a billionaire who last year made more in one hour than a minimum-wage worker makes in a year cries “class warfare” when his proposal is accurately reported.

    It’s a storyline too ridiculous for Mr. Burns.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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