The Democratic presidential candidates made their case for a new federal minimum wage at a debate in Iowa Saturday night, but they differed on the exact amount.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley both supported a $15 minimum wage.
“I believe that over the next few years, not tomorrow, over the next few years, we’ve got to move the minimum wage to a living wage, 15 bucks an hour. And I apologize to nobody for that,” Sanders said.
O’Malley then touted his record as Maryland governor, when he raised the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.
“This was not merely theory in Maryland, we actually did it,” he said. “$10.10 was all I could get the state to do by the time I left, but two of our counties actually went to $12.80,” he said. O’Malley now advocates a $15 minimum wage.
Clinton was more restrained, pushing for a $12 minimum wage.
“If we went to $15, there are no international comparisons, that is why I support a $12 national federal minimum wage,” she said. “That is what the Democrats in the Senate have put forward as a proposal, but I do believe that is a minimum, and places like Seattle, like Los Angeles, like New York City, they can go higher.”