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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Rauner makes U-turn on minimum wage: 'I was flippant'

Today's post was shared by Steven Greenhouse and comes from articles.chicagotribune.com

Republican candidate for Illinois governor Bruce Rauner said on Wednesday that he made a mistake when he proposed slashing the state's minimum wage by one dollar.

“I made a mistake. I was flippant and I was quick,” Rauner told the Tribune as he continued a bus tour through southern Illinois.

“I should have said, ‘Tie the Illinois minimum wage to the national wage and, in that context, with other changes in being pro-business, I support raising the national minimum wage.’ I’m OK with that,” said the Republican from Winnetka.

Rauner’s original call to cut Illinois’ $8.25 per hour minimum wage to the $7.25 federal level had threatened to upend a carefully crafted campaign aimed at convincing Republican primary voters and independents that the man who is potentially the wealthiest candidate ever to run for public office in the state was a regular guy.

Democrats on the national and state level, from President Obama to Gov. Pat Quinn, have pointed to a growing problem of wage disparity between rich and poor as a 2014 campaign theme and have called for minimum wage increases.

At the same time, Rauner’s three rivals in the March 18 GOP primary for governor have accused him of trying to buy the nomination and contended his wealth has made him out of touch with average voters.

“There’s no way to finesse it. It’s a tough issue for him and I would imagine (opponents) are going to be using it to exploit his...

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