Throughout the beginnings of the Presidential campaign, celebrity billionaire-turned Presidential hopeful asserted again and again that the minimum wage was “too high.” But after losing his working-class followers to fellow Presidential contender Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Trump has flipped his stance.
Lower- and Middle-Class Voters Turn to Sanders, Prompting Trump to Change Tactics
Following an interview in late December where Sanders told the press that Trump’s blue-collar supporters would identify with his plans to increase the minimum wage and employment rates in the U.S, Trump switched to Sanders’ side. After Sanders’ statement was released, Trump tweeted that he now thought the minimum wage was “too low;” a wholly different sentiment than his original stance.
He followed this up with a few more changes to his economic policy, saying that there were “too few” jobs in the U.S. and that people had “lost faith in our leaders.”
During his “Face the Nation” interview, Sanders stated, “Look, many of Trump’s supporters are a working-class people, and they’re angry. And they’re angry because they’re working longer hours for lower wages. They’re angry because their jobs have left this country and gone to China or other low-wage countries. They’re angry because they can’t afford to send their kids to college so they can’t retire with dignity.”
Many in the political arena have commented on how overwhelmingly positive the floundering middle class’ have received Sanders. Trump has the support of many voters in the upper-class, but Sanders still holds the support of lower-income voters with higher educations. The change in his stance on the U.S. wage is Trump’s vying for the support of this untapped demographic.
Trump Claims He Was Always in Favor of Higher Wages, Despite Evidence of Recent Statements
Trump responded to Sanders’ claims that he supported a lower minimum wage with the same response he’s used several times during the course of the preliminary debates; “Lie!”
Sanders responded by pointing out the instances where Trump has repeated his claims that the wage was too high. “This is a guy who does not want to raise minimum wage,” he said in disbelief. In fact, he has said that he thinks wages in America are too high,” Sanders said in his “Face the Nation” interview.
In a Fox Business Network debate this November, not a month before Trump switched sides, he said this in his opening statement: “Taxes too high, wages too high. We’re not going to be able to compete against the world.”
The day after that debate, he repeated the sentiment when asked about the U.S. wage. “We have to become competitive with the world. Our taxes are too high — our wages are too high. Everything is too high. We have to compete with other countries,” Trump stated.
After these quotes were pointed to following Trump’s abrupt policy switch, he called Sen. Sanders a “wacko” on Twitter.
Trump’s main platform is tax reform, but a recent analysis of his proposed tax cuts show that the strategy would give the cuts to the richest, according to tax experts. Analysts called Trump’s plan “nothing radical,” despite the plan being the largest reason why many of his supporters stand by him.