ABC's Jon Karl Highlights 'Admission' That Tea Party Candidate Opposes Minimum Wage
Good Morning America on Monday highlighted the "admission" by Tea Party backed candidate Joe Miller that he opposes the federal minimum wage.
Reporter Jon Karl breathlessly related, "In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Alaska's Joe Miller talked about rolling back the power of the federal government further than Republicans have talked about for more than 70 years."
An ABC graphic appeared onscreen touting, "Tea Party Candidate's Admission: Against Federal Minimum Wage." Of course, the admission came in the form of Miller simply answering this question from Karl: "Should the federal government be requiring a minimum wage?"
After the Republican senatorial nominee from Alaska clearly stated that the issue was up to the states and not the federal government, Karl asked the question again: "So there should not be a federal minimum wage?"
Continuing to the views of these new Republican candidates, he added, "Miller and other Tea Party candidates also favor eliminating the Department of Education. Some want to pull out of the UN."
A transcript of the October 4 segment, which aired at 7:10am EDT, follows:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We turn to politics, with just 29 days to go to the countdown to the midterm elections. Congress has gone home to campaign, and it's crunch time. Republicans have been getting a boost from that new crop of Tea Party candidates. But they're making it clear they won't necessarily follow the party line. And Jon Karl is here with more on that.
JON KARL: Good morning, George. Well, with those raucous parties, primaries now behind us, Republicans say they are united behind defeating Democrats. But this campaign has produced a new breed of Republican candidate determined to shake up Washington and the Republican Party like never before.
KARL: Republican leaders worked hard to defeat them, but now tea party insurgents like Rand Paul, sharron angle and Joe Miller are solidly supported by the GOP establishment.
JOE MILLER: We're going to do what's necessary in order to make sure that America gets back on the right path. I mean, we aren't going play ball. We going to make sure things get done.
KARL: In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Alaska's Joe Miller talked about rolling back the power of the federal government further than Republicans have talked about for more than 70 years. Should the federal government be requiring a minimum wage?
ABC GRAPHIC: Tea Party Candidate's Admission: Against Federal Minimum Wage
MILLER: That is clearly up to the states. We believe, in fact, the state of Alaska has a minimum wage which is higher than the federal level. Because our state leaders have made that determination. At the minimum level, again, that should be the state's decision.
KARL: So there should not be a federal minimum wage?
MILLER: There should not be. That is not within the scope of powers given to the federal government.
KARL: Miller and other Tea Party candidates also favor eliminating the Department of Education. Some want to pull out of the UN. Once scorned by party leaders, they're now embraced. Case in point, in an audio obtained last night by Nevada reporter John Ralston, Sharron Angle is heard talking about her new-found clout, or, quote, "juice" in the Republican Party.
SHARRON ANGLE: I go to Washington D.C. and I say, I want to see Jim DeMint and he's right there for me. I say I want to see Tom Coburn, he's right there for me. I want to see Mitch McConnell, he's there.
KARL: Now, Republican leaders are counting on victories for the Tea Party candidates as the only way they can get control of Congress.
STEPHANOPOULOS: They need to win most of them. Let's take a closer look at the map right now. Starting with the Senate map. That has gotten very competitive. We've been looking at about ten states over the course of the last several weeks. We now think of the most competitive, Washington and California leaning more to the Democrats. Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida leaning more to Republicans. That leaves these five key battlegrounds.
KARL: Yeah. Five pure toss ups in the ABC analysis here. So, George, if Republicans can manage to run the table, win all five of these, they still don't have control of the Senate. They're at 49 seats. But this morning, we're adding a new state to the ranks of the pure toss-ups, the state of West Virginia. And now, George, this may be the hottest race in the country. In fact, Republicans are buying more television time in West Virginia than they are in any other race in the country. Even if they get that, they get 50/50.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And the incumbent Democrat there, Joe Manchin the governor of the state, started out as a huge favorite but now the gap is closing. But, I should say, Democrats still holding out that somehow they can win in Wisconsin. And Republicans think they're doing better in Connecticut right now.
KARL: And, remember, if they can win that one, and the others, they get control.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay. Let's take a look quickly at the House of Representatives. Republicans say that wave is going to carry them in, but we haven't seen any change?
KARL: No, we're exactly where we were one week ago. There are 45 that are considered pure toss-ups by ABC News. Republicans need to win more than half of them. But, the good news for Democrats is there has been no erosion over the past week, which we had been seeing. So, Republicans need to continue to gain ground and they didn't over the past week.