Donald Trump, being a politician, likes to say different things to different audiences. When he was running in the Republican primary, he rejected raising the minimum wage: “…wages [are] too high, we’re not going to be able to compete against the world. I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is.”
Now he’s targeting general election voters, and he has a new tune, telling CNN on Wednesday, “I’m open to doing something with it.”
Is this a real shift in position? Is he breaking with conservative orthodoxy? Is he showing that deep down, he truly has working people’s interests at heart?
Nope, nope, and nope.
Saying you’re “open to doing something” and you’re “looking at it” is the definition of empty pandering. In the same breath, he assured conservatives, “What I’m really looking to do is get people great jobs so they make much more money than that, so they make much more money than the $15. Now, if you start playing around too much with the lower level number, you’re not going to be competitive.”
This is a regurgitation of what every Republican who opposes raising the minimum wage says: If we raise the minimum wage, we’ll lose jobs. But trust me, I’ll create good-paying jobs with my conservative magic.
As Trump is willing to say anything at any time in order to get votes, one can never discount the possibility of a future flip-flop. But nothing he said on Wednesday earns him credit for moving toward a rational position on wages. He has not moved a hair.