Durbin criticizes GOP candidates for governor

Feb 10, 2014

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is criticizing the Republican field of candidates governor for their stances on low-income workers and the unemployed. IPR'S Hannah Meisel reports.

It's an ongoing battle the Democratic senator is fighting in Congress, mirrored in the race for the governor's mansion: raising the minimum wage. 

The four Republican candidates for governor oppose raising the minimum wage in Illinois, which is currently $8.25 an hour. One reason they've given is that mostly high school and college students work minimum wage jobs. Senator Durbin says that isn't so.

"I just can't get over how insensitive some of these candidates are to the reality of life for a lot of struggling families-working families who can't get by on $8.25 an hour."

Durbin singled out the candidate who'd previously called for a decrease in Illinois' minimum wage.

"A man who made $53 million last year is calling for cuts in the minimum wage? He can wear an $18 watch and a Carhartt jacket, but he's not in touch with what people are trying to do to get by if they're on minimum wage."

Sporting that Carhartt is venture capitalist Bruce Rauner. Rauner later publicly changed his stance, and called his earlier remarks "flippant."