Hillary Clinton on Tuesday stated in her most clear language yet that she supports a $12 an hour minimum wage, which falls short of the level sought by many labor unions but is higher than the one favored by President Obama.
“I favor a $12 an hour minimum wage at the federal level,” Clinton said at a town hall in Coralville, Iowa. “That would be setting it at a level that would be equivalent to the point in our history where the minimum wage was at its highest” since 1986, she said.
Clinton’s rivals for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, support a call by many labor unions to raise the wage to $15 an hour, a move already made by several cities like Los Angeles and Seattle.
Clinton, however, has said that she’s worried that rate would be too high for rural areas or smaller cities like Little Rock, Arkansas, which have lower costs of living. “I do, however, believe that other communities that want to go higher than $15 should be able to do so,” she added in Coralville.
The former secretary of state has previously said she supports a bill introduced by leading Senate Democrats to raise the wage to $12 hour. That’s higher than the level chosen by Obama, who has called for raising the wage to $10.10 an hour.
Clinton also spoke about gun control, which has become a major theme of her campaign as she seeks to outflank Sanders from the left. “We are going to make this a voting issue – just like the other side does,” she said.