Strickland Admits Why He Couldn’t Complete Minimum Wage Challenge

Ohio Senate candidate Ted Strickland admitted on Friday why he couldn't complete the minimum wage challenge, contradicting past statements he has made on the subject.

Strickland, a Democrat and former governor of Ohio, was debating incumbent Republican Sen. Rob Portman when the topic of the minimum wage came up. Strickland touted his attempt of the minimum wage challenge, where individuals try to live for a week on the amount of money that a minimum wage worker makes from 40 hours of work.

"You know, I tried to live on the minimum wage," Strickland said. "I did that about a year and a half, two years ago. I made it five days. I ate a lot of bananas. I ate a lot of items off the McDonald's dollar menu."

"But I wasn't successful because I had a nephew who came to Washington for special training before he went to Afghanistan and I decided to take him out to dinner and I broke the Minimum Wage Challenge," Strickland explained.

Strickland did not mention the dinner as a reason why he failed the challenge when he wrote an op-ed about the experience in 2014. Strickland also never mentioned that he failed the challenge, stating merely that he tried it.

Most mornings started with eggs and toast, bought last Sunday during a grocery trip costing more than $15. Lunches were normally leftovers, macaroni and cheese or McDonald’s. There were no big dinners or coffee stops on a whim. But the challenges were beyond food.

In the debate, Portman responded to Strickland by saying that his goal was to improve the economy in order to elevate as many people as possible from minimum wage jobs. He mentioned that he worked a minimum wage job when he was starting his career.

"We don't want people to have minimum wage jobs," Portman said. "We want them to have jobs that give them the opportunity to get ahead in life."