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Monday, October 24, 2016

GOP Senate Candidate: Minimum-Wage Jobs Are Where Teens Play Softball, Drink Beer [Video]

GOP Senate Candidate: Minimum-Wage Jobs Are Where Teens Play Softball, Drink Beer [Video]

Many Republicans have made tone-deaf statements on the minimum wage throughout the 2014 campaign season, but perhaps none has been as puzzling as this take from Virginia Senate candidate Ed Gillespie (R).

At a Virginia Beach campaign stop in May, which was flagged this week by Virginia Democrats, Gillespie explained his minimum-wage opposition to his audience.

“I don’t support a federally mandated minimum wage,” Gillespie said. “If the states want to raise the minimum wages — and municipalities like New York City — that’s fine. They should be free to do that, and they do it.”

Gillespie then cited a Congressional Budget Office report that projected that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour could cost the economy 500,000 jobs, and suggested that most minimum-wage earners are teenagers just entering the workforce.

“A lot of those jobs are second earners in the family. A lot of them are first-time workers, it’s the first job they’ve ever had,” Gillespie claimed. “A minimum-wage job is where you learn to get to work on time. It’s where you learn the great feeling at the end of getting that paycheck and knowing you gave an honest week’s work. It’s where you learn the social aspect of work, where you play on a softball league or go for a beer after work.”

Gillespie’s statement is riddled with factual inaccuracies. The vast majority of minimum-wage earners are not teenagers playing softball and drinking beer (which would be illegal, by the way); 88 percent are 20 years of age or older, 36 percent are married, and 28 percent are parents.

Furthermore, the CBO report which Gillespie referenced does not flatly declare that a minimum wage hike would kill half a million jobs; rather, it states that a $10.10 minimum wage would contract employment by somewhere between a “very slight decrease” and 1 million jobs. It also pointed out that a minimum-wage increase would result in higher wages for 16.5 million workers — something Gillespie declined to mention.

In any case, the CBO’s warning has not proven accurate; job growth has been greater in the 13 states that increased their minimum wages in 2014 than in states that did not.

Past its questionable claims, Gillespie’s speech also presents a big political problem for the former Republican National Committee chairman. Polls consistently show that Americans strongly support raising the minimum wage; in Virginia, 66 percent support raising the commonwealth’s minimum wage while just 31 percent oppose it, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll.

Perhaps with those numbers in mind, Gillespie’s campaign contacted The Huffington Post after the video went public to insist that Gillespie does not support repealing federal minimum wage laws.

Even if voters accept that clarification, Gillespie remains a huge underdog in Virginia’s Senate race. According to The Huffington Post’s polling average, incumbent Democrat Mark Warner leads Gillespie by 19 percent.

H/T: Blue Virginia

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • Lynda Groom

    The man is clearly not very bright, but considering the source no surprise. Maybe he should get out more and try and find all of those teens working for minimum wage, playing softball and drinking beer. What a putz!

    • TZToronto

      How many beers can you buy when you’re making minimum wage?

  • Sand_Cat

    What would he know about “an honest week’s work”? Has he ever done one?

    • highpckts

      Not since getting elected!!

  • Independent1

    Gillespie is nothing more than the typical Republican politician who gives campaign speeches about topics they know absolutely nothing about – which is generally any topic that is important for someone to know who is trying to run a government. Republicans have the misguided notion that governments can be run like businesses – when nothing could be further from the truth. Which is why history shows that Republicans are absolute disasters when it comes to running any kind of government: Federal, State or Local.

    • Daniel Jones

      It didn’t used to be that way.. as the military industrial complex gained more and more political capital, the politicians that followed their cues became more and more socially retarded.

  • cleos_mom

    Unfortunately, a lot of people still buy this “entry-level job for teens” advertising campaign. They must be the same people who post on any and all articles involving a fast-food business and brag that they never put any such junk in their body-temple and never eat there. Otherwise they’d have been noticing who waits on them.

  • jointerjohn

    So Governor Jindahl, how’s that appeal to your fellow republicans to stop being the party of stupid working out so far? It appears the GOP is doing it’s candidate recruitment from the “learning limited” line.