WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said that he supports an increase in the country’s minimum wage, noting his own break from many other Republicans who oppose such a hike.
Romney responded to questions on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday about friction within the Republican Party that suggests the GOP is having trouble adapting to the “changing demographics” in the country. The former Republican presidential candidate said that members of the party have wide-ranging views on many issues, and he noted one of his personal differences from other conservative lawmakers.
“Well, different members of my party have different views on those different issues,” Romney replied. “I part company with many of the conservatives in my party on the issue of minimum wage. I think we ought to raise it.”
He stressed that the Republican Party “is all about more jobs and better pay,” particularly noting Hispanic and African-American families have been hurt by the past five years of Democratic policies. Romney said that Republicans must convey to minority voters that GOP policies “will help them get better jobs and get better pay.”
Romney reiterated that Democratic Party leadership has caused income inequality to “become worse.”
Asked about his own potential 2016 presidential run, Romney was direct: “I’m not running for president in 2016.”
“I think our best prospects of getting back the White House are with someone who has not run twice before as I have,” Romney said with a smile.
He listed his former vice presidential running mate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on his “long” list of strong 2016 presidential contenders. He also criticized potential Democratic frontrunner in 2016, Hillary Clinton, saying that her time in the State Department will be “an enormous liability.”
“Because this is, after all, the evidence of her leadership capacity,” said Romney. “And frankly, the four years that she served as secretary of state were not good years for the United States of America abroad. She worked hard and she shook a lot of hands and people said, ‘Boy, she’s been on the airplane a lot, and that’s a good thing.’ But if you look around the world … this was not a good time for America.”