JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said Friday she wouldn’t rule out changes to the federal minimum wage as a way to lower the cost of doing business and lure corporations back to the United States.
The Minnesota congresswoman told supporters at a packed sandwich shop that the corporate income tax needs to be reduced because companies are moving to other countries to save money. She was later asked by a reporter whether changes to the minimum wage should also be considered to balance the cost of labor here and overseas.
“I’m not married to anything. I’m not saying that’s where I’m going to go,” she said.
She did see she wants to look at all aspects of doing business, from regulations to tax codes, and will consider anything that will help create jobs. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
“I want to bring advisers in from labor and from manufacturers and from the service industry and financial services. I want to know what they know, because that’s what we’ve been missing from President Obama. He has virtually no one in his Cabinet with private sector experience,” Bachmann said. “I want to bring people who know how to create jobs into my administration.”
The stop at Angie’s Sub was the first in a three-day tour of Florida, a state that’s hoping to play a major role in the primary. And as a swing state with 29 electoral college votes, it will also be the largest prize in the 2012 general election.
Bachmann told the crowd she knows Florida will play an important role in the election.
“We will be back here many, many, many, many, many times in Jacksonville, and we’re going to be old friends and neighbors by the time this is all done,” she said.
Though at one point, she forgot she was in a local sub shop while talking about helping businesses.
“Can you imagine if good businesses like Subway,” she began before the crowd drowned her out shouting, “Angie’s!”
She made up for it by starting a chant of “Angie’s Subs!” at the end of her remarks.
While she clearly excited the crowd, Vicki Higbee, 54, of Jacksonville said she isn’t completely sold on Bachmann. She said that she’s committed to voting for a conservative but that she also likes Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
“I’m here to see what she has to say,” said Higbee. “I love her and I love her positions, but I’m not committed. She supports a lot of the positions and values that I hold dear.”
(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)