New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie isn’t flip-flopping on minimum wage, despite what some reports have claimed. Christie’s long-time position is that moderate increases are okay.
“We’d have to talk about it,” the Republicans presidential hopeful told CNBC Monday. “But $15, it’s gonna destroy jobs. But when you look at the changes that we’ve made in New Jersey. And the 192,000 families who have jobs who didn’t have them don’t think that’s insignificant.”
The Comments set off a cascading murmur through the media that perhaps he had “softened” his stance. Alan Rappeport, anchor for First Draft at The New York Times, wrote the governor was changing his views on the minimum wage.
“Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey has ardently opposed raising the minimum wage in New Jersey,” Rappeport stated. “But on Monday he hinted that his opposition might not be absolute.”
Republicans largely oppose raising the minimum wage. The interview was not the first time Christie broke from the GOP and advocated for a moderate approach to the issue.
“And no matter where you are on the economic strata, you want greater opportunity for your children, and I don’t believe raising the minimum wage creates greater opportunity,” he said at the Peter G. Peterson Fiscal Summit back in May of 2014. “Where the minimum wage plays in that is it’s a small element that should be done responsibly.”
In 2013, residents of the state voted on a Democratic proposal to amend the state constitution to raise the minimum wage. Christie was opposed to the proposal. He wasn’t, however, opposed to the idea of increasing the state minimum wage a different way.
Christie also noted at the Summit that he had written a proposal to increase the minimum wage over the span of three years. “They rejected that and then put the $1.25 increase on the ballot as a constitutional amendment, and the voters passed it.”
“That’s the position I took in New Jersey and I was overridden by the Legislature and the voters on that, and they voted to raise it a buck and a quarter, so that’s the minimum wage in New Jersey,” he continued. “So I favor raising the minimum wage, but in a graduated responsible way so that business has time to adjust.”
Supporters of the $15 minimum wage often argue that it’s more representative of “the living wage,” which is supposed to be the basic standard by which someone can live comfortably. While advocates say it will help the poor and stimulate the economy, opponents warn it could lead to job loss.
Most Americans also favor a less extreme increase. According to Gallup, upwards of 76% of people favor raising it to $9 an hour while 22% opposed the idea.
The New York Times did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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