Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) has walked back cautious support for a minimum wage increase as he framed the issue as one that should be left to the states.
“It’s very important that we don’t raise the minimum wage willy-nilly and we end up throwing out of work the lowest and the most unskilled workers,” Kasich said Sunday on “Fox News Sunday.”
“If you are going to have a raise in the minimum wage, it ought to be something that gets calculated between employers and labor. And I fundamentally believe it ought to be done at the same level.”
Kasich was responding to a question about an interview earlier this month with MLive in Michigan, where he said that a potential minimum wage increase should be “reasonable.”
“Have it be reasonable,” he said, when asked where he stood on the minimum wage debate.
“Because you could have unintended consequences if you start imposing a high wage, which could actually lead to fast-food restaurants putting in kiosks and middle-management people being upset that they can't get a raise.”
He added that he didn’t want to get into specifics of a proposed increase, but noted Ohio’s “gradual” minimum wage that increases with the consumer price index.
"I just think you have to be realistic, and management and labor can sit down and talk about what is an effective way to help.”
Democrats mostly support various minimum wage increases, while the issue has split the GOP field. Fellow presidential candidates, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Penn.), both have supported a federal wage hike, while the rest of the field does not.