Mitt Romney Reverses His Stance on Minimum Wage”“Again

The former Republican presidential candidate talked policy and flowers on MSNBC Friday morning.

Mitt Romney
National Journal
Marina Koren
May 9, 2014, 4:25 a.m.

In Janu­ary 2012, Mitt Rom­ney said he had long been in fa­vor of in­creas­ing the min­im­um wage. A few months later, fa­cing out­cry from the right, he re­versed his stance.

And now, Rom­ney is back to his pre-pres­id­en­tial-race views on one of the biggest is­sues of this year.

“As you know, I part com­pany with many of the con­ser­vat­ives in my party on the is­sue of min­im­um wage,” the former Re­pub­lic­an gov­ernor of Mas­sachu­setts said on MS­N­BC’s Morn­ing Joe on Fri­day. “I think we ought to raise it. Quite frankly, our party is all about more jobs and bet­ter pay.”

Rom­ney weighed in on a few oth­er hot-but­ton top­ics, in­clud­ing Rus­sia, the next pres­id­en­tial race, and Moth­er’s Day. Here are some high­lights:

Rom­ney wanted an­swers out of Hil­lary Clin­ton, but not about what you’d ex­pect. “First of all, we’d like to hear wheth­er she be­lieves the fail­ure to la­bel Boko Haram as a ter­ror­ist or­gan­iz­a­tion was a mis­take on her agency’s part or it was not and what’s the lo­gic for not identi­fy­ing this group as a ter­ror­ist or­gan­iz­a­tion. She hasn’t done so yet. I think people would like to hear her an­swer to that.”

He gave his lists of fa­vor­ites for 2016, which doesn’t in­clude him­self. “I’m not run­ning for pres­id­ent in 2016. I’m go­ing to be sup­port­ing someone who rep­res­ents the prac­tic­al con­ser­vat­ives that I think we need. You know some of my fa­vor­ites. Paul Ry­an, of course. I love Paul. We were a great team to­geth­er. But Chris Christie and Jeb Bush and Rob Port­man. The list is long. Scott Walk­er. There are a lot of fel­lows and hope­fully some wo­men as well that are look­ing at this race and we’ll get a chance to see someone new. I think our best pro­spects of get­ting back the White House are with someone who has not run twice be­fore as I have.”

It does in­clude a wo­man. “Susana Mar­tinez, gov­ernor of New Mex­ico, ob­vi­ously has great po­ten­tial and lead­er­ship. And I’m sure there are many that we could think of. I’m not go­ing to go through a full list here. But you’ve seen a num­ber of wo­men take on in­creas­ingly re­spons­ible po­s­i­tions in the Re­pub­lic­an Party. Frankly our party has wo­men, has minor­ity lead­ers, that I think ought to be look­ing at the na­tion­al stage.”

Rom­ney said he doesn’t think about the 2012 pres­id­en­tial de­bates, but the hosts of Morn­ing Joe re­minded him with this clip. “Is the world less stable today be­cause Pres­id­ent Obama mis­cal­cu­lated on [Rus­si­an Pres­id­ent Vladi­mir] Putin and Rus­sia?” they asked. “No ques­tion about that,” Rom­ney said. “Few­er and few­er na­tions re­spect us and bow, if you will, to the de­mands of their people. And there’s no ques­tion that Vladi­mir Putin and Rus­sia in par­tic­u­lar are our geo­pol­it­ic­al ad­versary. Doesn’t mean they’re our en­emy and I nev­er called them our threat. The greatest threat is a nuc­le­ar Ir­an. But I did say they were a geo­pol­it­ic­al foe.”

Rom­ney may be lurk­ing in someone else’s back­yard this week­end. “I al­ways get lilacs for my wife on Moth­er’s Day. I find some place in the neigh­bor­hood where I can cut some lilacs. So I’m go­ing to be look­ing or go­ing to the gro­cery store and find­ing some.”