Jesse Jackson Jr.: Obama should honor ’08 pledge, back $10 minimum wage

Nicholas Ballasy Senior Video Reporter
Font Size:

Illinois Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. is challenging President Obama to honor his 2008 campaign pledge and “stand behind” legislation that would raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10 per hour.

“In 2011, he wanted to see the minimum wage raised to $9.50. It is now 2012,” said Jackson, who announced the Catching Up to 1968 Act of 2012 Wednesday outside of the Capitol Building.

“I’m calling on President Barack Obama to honor his campaign commitment of 2008 to stand behind legislation that raises the minimum wage for the American people a little more than he requested in 2008 because the numbers and the economy reflect that $10 is not an unreasonable starting point.”

Consumer advocate and former president candidate Ralph Nader joined Jackson in backing the bill, which he argues will help America’s economic recovery.

“Even by raising the minimum wage to $10 per hour, it would still remain below the minimum wage in today’s dollars in 1968,” said Nader.

Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich said Obama would win re-election if he supports Jackson’s bill.

“I’m here to say that President Obama could guarantee his election if he came out in favor of Jesse Jackson’s proposal — that President Obama could instill confidence again in the hearts of millions of Americans who are wondering, ‘Is this government really there for them or is it just there for Wall Street?’ This is an important moment,” he said.

Follow Nicholas on Twitter