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Speaking at a press conference described as 'abruptly shut down' by her staff:

Connecticut's Republican U.S. Senate candidate says future increases to state and federal minimum wages should be evaluated, and she isn't ruling out reducing the current rate to help struggling businesses.

Former professional wrestling executive Linda McMahon made the remarks Thursday in East Hartford after receiving an endorsement from the National Federation of Independent Business, which opposes any increases to the federal minimum wage. When asked if she knew the current rate, McMahon said she did not remember and would have to double-check.

Connecticut's minimum wage is $8.25 an hour, while the federal wage is $7.25 an hour.

More from a local paper (The Day):

Republican Linda McMahon accepted the endorsement of a prominent business interest lobby on Thursday, but her campaign staff abruptly shut down a press conference in which McMahon was asked to explain whether she agreed with all of the organization's positions.

Most notably, McMahon said she believed Congress should consider lowering the federal minimum wage in times of economic distress for small businesses, such as the current recession.

"The minimum wage now in our country, I think we've set that and a lot of people have benefited from it in our country, but I think we ought to review how much it ought to be, and whether or not we ought to have increases in the minimum wage," McMahon said.

McMahon did not directly answer a question about whether she would support having a federal minimum wage at all. The National Federation of Independent Businesses, the lobbying group that endorsed her Thursday morning, opposes increases in the federal minimum wage, and has denounced it as harmful to small business interests.

One gets the feeling that if it were up to McMahon and business lobbies, they'd rather prefer not to pay wages at all. We know she doesn't want to take responsibility for the dead wrestlers (plural) that worked for her. She'll have the opportunity to explain her position in the debates starting next week, but campaign staffs hate it when their politician actually says what they think in unscripted settings. And with her track record, who would want to have Linda McMahon as an employer? Everything she's done is to enrich herself at the expense of her employees.

By the way, partisan polls released by the Blumenthal campaign suggest a 12 point lead for the Democrat (the aggregate on pollsrter.com is a 50.2-44.4 Blumenthal lead.) That's interesting, because right now the only other available polls are Rasmussen  (Blumenthal by 5) and the Quinnipiac poll (Blumenthal by 3), which are setting the media narrative around the state. That's unfortunate because the Q-poll especially may well be flat out wrong.

In any case, and taking no chances, the DSCC is spending some bucks in CT on the assumption that they don't want this one getting away. If McMahon keeps opening her mouth, it won't.

UPDATE from McMahon campaign:

UPDATE 4:20 PM: The McMahon campaign says reporters are wrong to suggest McMahon favors lowering the minimum wage. From a spokesman: "I think a good deal of creative interpretation is needed for anybody to take away from these quotes that she is in favor of reducing the minimum wage. She is clearly saying that we ought to review whether this is in fact the time to raise the rate. It's impossible to accept the spin that a handful of reporters are putting on this without changing the definition of the word 'review.' That word is not one and the same with 'cut'. Noah Webster, I'm certain, is turning over in his grave today."

She got herself in this mess by saying she "believed Congress should consider lowering the federal minimum wage in times of economic distress for small businesses, such as the current recession." Note the word "lowering".

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Sep 30, 2010 at 12:46 PM PDT.

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