Obama: ‘Long past time’ to raise minimum wage

President Obama said it is “long past time” to raise the minimum wage in a video message Friday intended to highlight ballot measure hiking pay in three states that are crucial to the fight for control of the Senate.

Democrats hope the ballot initiatives will boost turnout and help Democratic candidates hold on to seats in Alaska and Arkansas. In South Dakota, the third state with a minimum wage ballot measure, a three-way race is tightening to replace retiring Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.).


“Today, a mom or dad working full time on minimum wage does not earn enough to make ends meet,” Obama says in the Web video released Friday by Organizing for Action, the nonprofit political advocacy group born from his reelection campaign.

“That’s not right. It’s wrong. That’s why it's long past time for us to raise the minimum wage. Momentum’s on our side,” Obama states.

While the video was ostensibly created to build pressure on Congress to pass Obama’s proposal to hike the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, it is also aimed at the three Senate battlegrounds.

Earlier this week, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said there were “significant and beneficial economic trends for raising the minimum wage.”

“In those 13 states where the minimum wage has been increased, we’ve seen greater economic growth in those states in contrast to states that have refused to raise the minimum wage,” he added.