President Donald Trump called out former Vice President Joe Biden during Thursday night’s debate for saying that he will raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour to help small businesses.
After mentioning that many small businesses are struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, debate moderator Kristen Welker asked Biden if he thinks now is the right time to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, a policy that he supports. (RELATED: Cutting Staff, Spiking Prices: The Plight Of NYC Restaurants Under A $15 Minimum Wage)
“I do,” Biden responded. “Because I think one of the things we’re going to have to do is, we’re going to have to bail them out, too. We should be bailing them out now, those small businesses. You got 1 in 6 of them going under. They’re not going to be able to make it back.”
The former Vice President mentioned how small businesses were able to take a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program, a loan program that supported more than 51 million small business jobs during the pandemic.
“They need the help,” Biden said. “The businesses, as well as the schools, need the help. But these guys will not help them. It’s not giving them any of the money.”
“He said we have to help our small businesses – by raising the minimum wage?” Trump asked Biden. “That’s not helping. I think it should be a state option.”
“Alabama is different than New York,” Trump continued. “New York is different from Vermont. Every state is different. It should be a state option.”
“How are you helping your small businesses when you are forcing wages?” the president said. “What’s going to happen and what’s been proven to happen, is when you do that, these small businesses fire many of their employees.”
“Not true, by the way,” Biden answered.
Trump said that he would consider raising the minimum wage “to an extent.”
The minimum wage would not be raised “to a level that’s going to put all these businesses out of business,” Trump said. “It should be a state option.”
“Different places are all different,” the president added. “Some places, $15 is not so bad. In other places, other states, $15 would be ruining.”