WASHINGTON -- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) opposes increasing the minimum wage because, he says, it wouldn't adequately lift up the middle class. To accomplish that goal, the GOP presidential candidate wants to create new and better-paying jobs.
But campaigning in New Hampshire on Wednesday, Rubio inadvertently made the case for raising the minimum wage anyway.
"I have full confidence that the American private sector, made up of the most innovative and productive people on this planet, won't just create millions of jobs. They will create millions of jobs that pay more," he said at a campaign event in Portsmouth.
"Because even the jobs that are being created now don't pay enough. You can't live off $10 an hour. You can't live on $11 an hour," he went on. "We need jobs that pay much more than that, but we have to have an economy and economic policies that make America the best place in the world that create jobs that pay more."
Rubio has consistently argued that the solution to stagnant wages is economic growth. But to borrow his logic, if a worker can't live on $10 or $11 an hour, they certainly can't live on $7.25, the current federal minimum wage. Furthermore, for most U.S. workers, wages have been flat or falling for decades.
While in the Senate, Rubio has voted multiple times against legislation that would have increased the minimum wage -- including a measure that called for vaulting the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016. He argues that raising the minimum wage would lead to "higher prices and less employment,” and that a better way to create jobs would be to lower business taxes. (For the record, there doesn't appear to be much of a correlation between higher minimum wages and increased unemployment -- in fact, it seems to be the opposite.)
Watch video of Rubio's comments above.