Sen. Ted Cruz said Friday the minimum wage systematically hurts the most vulnerable, but that it’s within the constitutional authority of individual states to pass their own rules of the road on the matter.
“Every time we raise the minimum wage, predictably what happens is a significant number of people lose their jobs, and they’re almost always low-income, they’re often teenagers, African-Americans and Hispanics,” the 2016 GOP presidential candidate said on CNBC.
Asked if he would do away with the minimum wage, Mr. Cruz said: “I think the minimum wage systematically hurts the most vulnerable.”
“I think it is within a state’s constitutional authority to have a minimum wage,” he said. “So if New York wants to do that, if California wants to do it, they have the power to do it. I think it’s bad policy.”
The minimum wage was a topic of intense discussion at Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate in Brooklyn, with Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont reiterating his support for an increase in the national minimum wage to $15 an hour from $7.25.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has supported a $12 minimum wage at the national level, said “of course” she would sign a bill passed by a Democratic Congress that raised the minimum wage to $15 and that she has supported state and local efforts, like one in New York, to raise it to $15.