Linda McMahon, the Republican candidate for Senate in Connecticut, suggested Thursday that lawmakers "ought to review" the federal minimum wage, but also admitted that she didn't know what the current pay rate is.
At a news conference in East Hartford, the pro wrestling mogul did not rule out lowering the minimum wage, saying Congress "should get input from our business community" to see if they can afford the current rate.
"What I think what we have to look at whenever we're talking about minimum wage increases is where is our economy is at this particular point, and how's that going to impact the businesses that are going to have to pay those wages?" McMahon said.
She continued: "The minimum wage now in our country, I think we've set that and a lot of people have benefited from it in our country, but I think we ought to review how much it ought to be, and whether or not we ought to have increases in the minimum wage."
When pressed on the subject, McMahon admitted "she didn't know what the current minimum wage is or if any of her employees at World Wrestling Entertainment is earning that amount," CTNewsJunkie reported. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour and Connecticut's is $8.25 an hour.
Asked if she thinks the current minimum wage is appropriate or if it should be raised, the Republican replied, "you know what guys? I'm just not going to comment any more."
Later, her spokesman Ed Patru e-mailed Politico to underscore the candidate's use of the word "review," which he points out "is not one and the same with 'cut.'"
"I think a good deal of creative interpretation is needed for anybody to take away from these quotes that she is in favor of reducing the minimum wage. She is clearly saying that we ought to review whether this is in fact the time to raise the rate," Patru wrote.
Recent polls show McMahon, former chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment, has closed the gap between herself and Democrat Richard Blumenthal to about five points. A Rasmussen Reports survey this week found Blumenthal leads McMahon by 50 percent to 45 percent, with 1 percent preferring some other candidate and 3 percent undecided.
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