Donald Trump, with is typical excess, has taken Richard Nixon’s dictum of running to the right in the primaries then move to the middle for the general election to a Manichean divide of manic proportions. Trump posed as a hard-liner in the primaries, but he has not moved toward the center for the general election. Instead, he has moved hard to the left, sounding more and more like socialist Bernie Sanders.
The latest case in point: on Tuesday, Trump stated he would support raising the federal minimum wage to $10 an hour. Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly posited, “there has to be a federal minimum wage,” prompting Trump to respond, “There doesn’t have to be. I would leave it and raise it somewhat. You need to help people. I know it’s not very Republican to say.”
O’Reilly suggested, “Ten bucks?” O’Reilly asked.
Trump, abandoning his previous positions that wages were too high, answered, “I would say 10. I would say 10. But with the understanding that somebody like me is going to bring back jobs. I don’t want people to be in that $10 category for very long. But the thing is, Bill, let the states make the deal.”
On Wednesday, in Doral, Florida, Trump reiterated that the federal minimum wage should be raised to “at least $10” but that “states should really call the shots.”
He continued, “As an example, I live in New York. It’s very expensive in New York. You can’t buy a hot dog for the money you’re talking about. You go to other states and it’s not expensive at all. Now what it does is it puts New York at a disadvantage if the minimum wage is, companies move out and things — you know, bad things happen. At the same time, people have to be taken care of. But what I’m really going to do with minimum wage, it has to go up.”
The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
“I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is.”
Donald Trump, posing as a conservative during the primaries
But last November, when he was still vying for the Republican vote, Trump stated, “Taxes too high, wages 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. People have to go out, they have to work really hard and they have to get into that upper stratum. But we cannot do this if we are going to compete with the rest of the world. We just can’t do it.”
By May, when he had the GOP nomination sewn up, Trump started his metamorphosis back into the Democrat he had always been, saying to CNN that he favored raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour, allowing “people have to get more.”
The cynicism of Trump continues to astound.