WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama blasted Republicans for blocking increases to the minimum wage on Friday in last-ditch campaigning ahead of next week’s crucial midterm elections.
American voters head to the polls next week for a pivotal ballot which could redraw the political map, with Republicans potentially gaining control of both chambers of Congress.
Obama, whose popularity is at record lows, has kept a low profile during the campaign, but went on the attack Friday as he lambasted Republicans for thwarting attempts to increase the minimum wage for workers.
“We need Republicans in Congress to stop blocking a minimum wage increase and give America a raise,” Obama said during an address in Providence, Rhode Island.
“About 28 million Americans would benefit if we raised the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour,” Obama explained, defending his attempts to increase the current hourly rate of $7.25.
“A majority of low-wage workers are women,” he added during a discussion focused on the role of women in the economy and unequal pay.
At the end of his discussion, Obama paid a surprise visit to a local restaurant alongside Gina Raimondo, who is running in Rhode Island’s gubernatorial election.