Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner said that President Obama’s minimum wage hike was “the right thing to do” before he expressed concerns about the legislation on Tuesday.
Following Obama’s focus on the minimum wage issue during his State of the Union address, Warner emailed his supporters the following day saying that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 was the “the right thing to do” and urging them to “help pressure Congress.”
Warner, however, expressed concerns on Tuesday about passing legislation to raise the minimum wage, according to Bloomberg.
Warner faces Republican challenger Ed Gillespie in an increasingly close election, with a recent poll showing that Warner’s lead has shrunk to just six points.
Sen. Mark Pryor (D., Ark.) and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D., La.), also facing tough reelection battles, joined Warner in doubting the minimum wage hike, according to the Bloomberg report.
Gillespie is pouncing on Warner’s flip-flop as another indication that Warner is in “lockstep” with the liberal base even if it costs Virginia jobs.
“Mark Warner told his liberal base he’s for President Obama’s minimum wage hike, which would destroy half a million more jobs, and now he’s trying to hide that commitment from Virginia voters,” said Gillespie. “But we all know this is just one more example of him being in lockstep with the president and Harry Reid.”
The Congressional Budget Office said last week that the minimum wage hike would cut 500,000 jobs and could leave as many as 1 million people unemployed.