Former Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-Md.) said on Thursday he backs raising the national minimum wage to $15 an hour.
“I strongly support the national movement to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, because it will lift millions of families out of poverty and create better customers for American businesses,” the Democratic candidate for president said in a statement.
“On this issue, we must lead with our progressive values to rebuild the American Dream,” O’Malley added.
O'Malley's remarks on Thursday are his strongest yet for a $15 national minimum wage, a level he supported prior to entering the 2016 field.
Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersKaine showcases faith and family in VP debut Clinton unveils Kaine: He's everything Trump and Pence aren't Sunday shows preview: Focus shifts to Dem convention MORE (I-Vt.), who is also challenging front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonWarren hammers Trump at Latino event Kaine wields Spanish skills in Miami VP appearance Kaine showcases faith and family in VP debut MORE for the Democratic nomination, additionally backs that hourly pay rate.
Clinton declined supporting a national minimum wage of $15 during her own remarks Thursday, according to BuzzFeed. She backed efforts to raise local minimum wages in high-cost areas of the country to $15, but suggested that high a level might not make sense in other places.
“I support the local efforts that are going on that are making it possible for people working in certain localities to actually $15,” she said during a campaign stop in New Hampshire, the news publication reported.
“I think part of the reason that the Congress and very strong Democratic supporters of increasing the minimum wage are trying to debate and determine what the national floor is because there are different economic environments,” Clinton said.
“And what you can do in L.A. or New York may not work in other places,” she added.
Clinton is well ahead of both Sanders and O’Malley in polls, though Sanders has drawn impressive crowds at rallies and events around the country, and has drawn closer to Clinton in New Hampshire.
O’Malley is well behind both candidates in polls.