In his first interview as a presidential hopeful, Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) on Monday declared himself to be a candidate who will stand up for American workers, but also criticized the idea of the minimum wage.
"Instead of focusing on that, we need to talk about how we get people the skills and the education and the qualifications that they need to take on the careers that pay far more than the minimum wage," he continued.
Earlier on Monday, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton attacked Walker's labor record during a speech, calling the governor's policies "mean-spirited" and "misguided."
"Republican governors like Scott Walker have made their names by stomping on workers’ rights," she said.
Walker has been a vocal opponent of the minimum wage, stating it doesn't serve a purpose. On Sunday, the governor signed a state budget in which he changed language so that Wisconsin workers are merely guaranteed a minimum wage rather than a living wage. Under this new budget, minimum-wage workers are expected to earn nearly $6,000 a year less than the living wage. Wisconsin's minimum wage is $7.25, but the living wage in the state is $10.13, according to a January study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released a six-word statement in response to Walker's candidacy announcement: "Scott Walker is a national disgrace."