LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- After a secretly recorded speech captured U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell telling wealthy conservative donors the Senate would not debate "gosh darn proposals" such as a minimum wage hike if he was majority leader, the Senate Minority Leader clarified that remark on Wednesday, leaving the door open to raising the minimum wage.
"This is the exact wrong thing to do when you are having such slow growth," McConnell explained. "There are circumstances under which you have a better economy that raising the minimum wage might make sense."
A majority of Kentucky voters support the Obama administration's proposal to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour, according to the WHAS11/Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll released Saturday night.
By an 18 point margin, 55 percent to 37 percent, Kentucky voters in the survey support raising the minimum wage.
"You know, What's interesting," McConnell said to reporters in Louisville on Wednesday, "that they didn't ask the follow up question they should have asked, which I have asked in some polls that we have done, which was, "Do you think raising the minimum wage to this level would still be a good idea if you knew that 17,000 Kentucky jobs would be lost as a result of it?"
"And it's interesting," McConnell continued, "When they are confronted with the consequences of this decision, people have a different view. So, it sounds good. It always polls well in any given year. But this is a job killer,"
McConnell referred to a Congressional Budget Office report which estimates 500,000 job losses would be triggered by a minimum wage hike to $10.10 per hour. A separate study concludes Kentucky's share of that impact is a loss of 17,000 jobs.
"It's a job killer," McConnell repeated.