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Hillary Clinton Courts Influential Labor Group

Hillary Clinton on Thursday asked for the support of the AFL-CIO and said raising wages is central to her economic agenda. But she did not put a number on how much she would like to boost the minimum wage.

“I think it is important that we set a national minimum, but then we get out of the way of cities and states that believe that they can and should go higher,” Clinton told reporters.

She acknowledged that there are different proposals from Democrats in Congress to raise the minimum wage, and signaled support for a proposal from Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., that would raise the rate to $12 an hour. But she was hesitant to back the $15 minimum wage being advocated for by some of her Democratic presidential primary opponents.

“Let's not just do it for the sake of having a higher number out there. Let’s actually get behind a proposal that has a chance at succeeding, and I have seen Patty [Murray] over the years be able to do just that,” Clinton.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has cut into Clinton’s lead in the early primary states, asked for the influential labor group’s endorsement on Wednesday. He, along with Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley, supports raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

“I would very much like to have the endorsement of the AFL-CIO. I would like to have their energy, I would like to have those folks on the ground,” Sanders told reporters on Wednesday.