O’Leary on Fox Business: This Leftist Gov. Turned His State into a ‘Version of Venezuela’

June 19th, 2024 2:37 PM

Kevin O'Leary, entrepreneur and cohost of the show Shark Tank, scolded Gov. Gavin Newsom for what he called the destruction of California’s economy through a controversial minimum wage increase.

During a Monday interview on Fox Business’s The Big Money Show, O'Leary asserted that Newsom has turned The Golden State into a “version of Venezuela” by crippling the restaurant industry with a targeted minimum wage hike.

“I'm here in California shooting season 16 of Shark Tank [and] the casual dining has been decimated by a policy mistake on minimum wage,” O’Leary said, referring to Assembly Bill 1228, which mandates fast food restaurants to pay all employees $20 per hour.

O’Leary’s remarks came during a discussion with Fox Business anchor Jackie DeAngelis about the impact of the Biden administration’s proposal to increase the corporate tax rate to 28% by 2025.

“I think about the restaurant industry, already suffering, you’re seeing fast food chains, clothing stores and also laying off employees,” DeAngelis told O’Leary. “They’ve got higher cost,  they’re paying higher wages and then you see less foot traffic. That tells me that fundamentally things are slowing down. That's not the time you want to squeeze the businesses harder.”

Referring to restaurants in California, O’Leary added, “They’re shutting down left and right. I mean, Gavin Newsom made a huge mistake I think he knows that knows that now. He's turning the state into a sort of version of Venezuela.”

O’Leary argued that the minimum wage law is “killing business” beyond the restaurant industry. “There’s all kind of capital leaving [California] for more competitive states, he said. You see what’s going on in Tennessee, Florida, Texas.”

While describing Newsom as a “nice guy,” O’Leary didn’t hold back his criticism of the governor’s policies. “He's a bad manager. He’s decimated this place. I’ve been coming here for 15 years. This is a shell of it used to be.”

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