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Donald Trump said as president he would keep the minimum wage “pretty much where it is right now,” because hiking it would hurt America’s competitiveness globally.
But in a wide-ranging interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press," he insisted that under a President Trump the minimum wage would be a non-issue.
“I'm going to bring jobs back— You will even be surprised, Chuck, you will be very surprised. So that we won't even have to be talking about the minimum wage," he told host Chuck Todd.
The real-estate mogul and GOP frontrunner offered the clearest details yet on his policy positions in the interview. Trump touched on everything from immigration to abortion to affirmative action, swinging from end to end of the ideological pendulum on each issue.
Conservative critics have expressed doubts over whether Trump is a real conservative, pointing to his past positions in favor of abortion rights and in support of Democrats — Trump once infamously said “I probably identify more as a Democrat" — as evidence that he’s a Republican in name only, and taking advantage of the wide-open GOP field to further his own agenda.
He acknowledged critics who say he’s not a real conservative “have a point from years ago.” But Trump has insisted he’s more in-line with the GOP now, and pointed to Ronald Reagan, who he said was “a Democrat, absolutely, with a liberal bent” before becoming a Republican as a similar case.
Still, Trump offered those critics further cause for skepticism during the interview.
He said he was “fine with affirmative action,” noting “we’ve lived with it for a long time,” though many conservatives have argued it’s unnecessary today. He also said he’s willing to back recent court decisions banning private companies from firing employees because of their sexual orientation — and that he himself agrees with the decision.
“I don't think it should be a reason” employers can use to fire workers, he said.
While Trump said he would defund Planned Parenthood “if they have the abortions going on,” he said he wasn’t sure if he’d shut down the government over funding for the group, as some conservatives in Congress have threatened.
“I don't want to give a hard and fast answer to that,” Trump said on a potential shutdown over Planned Parenthood. “It bothers me greatly that they're doing the abortions. At the same time, women's health issues are, you know, very important to me.”
Trump also said he wouldn’t make opposition to abortion rights a litmus test when choosing a Supreme Court justice, though it would “certainly be helpful” to him in deciding.