Tillis opposed increasing NC wage in 2010

 

State House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) wouldn't say whether or not he supports raising North Carolina's minimum wage in a Wednesday interview, but in 2010 he said he opposed it.

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The newly-minted GOP Senate nominee, responding to a North Carolina FreeEnterprise Foundation candidate questionnaire four years ago, circled "disagree" when asked on the survey if he thought North Carolina's General Assembly should raise the minimum wage. Unlike other questions on the survey, he didn't write in any caveats or explanations.

That's a much less equivocal response than what the Senate nominee gave on Wednesday to MSNBC's Chuck Todd. 

Tillis on Tuesday won the GOP nomination to face Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), setting up a top-priority race for both parties. Polls show a tight race.

In his first national media interview the next morning, Tillis repeatedly refused to say whether the state's minimum wage should be increased, though he reiterated that he opposed raising it on a national level.

"I believe that minimum wage decisions need to be made by the state. That Barack Obama and Kay Hagan think that the minimum wage needs to be the same in the mountains of North Carolina and the city of Boston makes no sense to me. It's a decision that needs to be made with the people closest to the situation, and I think that's state legislators," he said.

The legislative leader then refused in a series of follow-up questions to say whether or not the state's minimum wage should be increased.

"I think that's a decision that the legislature needs to make with the businesses," he said. "We've got a president and Kay Hagan that want to create a minimum wage economy. What I want to do is create jobs that make minimum wage irrelevant."

North Carolina has a $7.25 an hour minimum wage, the same as the federal level.

Hagan's campaign has repeatedly attacked Tillis on the issue. Hagan supports an increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10.