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Santorum says GOP should raise the minimum wage

Another former GOP presidential candidate says his party should look at increasing the minimum wage -- even as all but one GOP senator voted against the Democrats' recent plan to increase it to $10.10.

On the "Daily Rundown" Monday, Rick Santorum said Republicans hoping to appeal to working-class voters -- a group Santorum targets in his new book -- should be okay with occasionally upping the minimum wage.

Santorum said the minimum wage should cover about 7 percent of the American workforce that it historically has -- more than the 2 percent it currently covers. (Others have made a similar point that the minimum wage hasn't kept pace with inflation.)

"Whatever gets you to 7 percent, and then if it falls back, you have to look at the situation," Santorum said. "If we’re in an economic crisis, you may not want to raise it. If things are going better, you probably do want to raise it. But let’s not make this argument that we’re for the blue-collar guy, but we are against any minimum wage increase ever. It just makes no sense."

Last week, former governor of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty (R) also called on conservatives to back a minimum wage increase. Pawlenty, like Santorum, has aligned himself more with the less-wealthy elements of the GOP -- whom Pawlenty labeled "Sam's Club Republicans."

Santorum has made clear that he's entertaining another run for president in 2016.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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