Democratic operatives are circulating a video of Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT), who is challenging Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) for his seat in next year’s election, in which Rehberg is asked what the current minimum wage is in Montana. Rehberg has voted several times in the past against increasing the minimum wage, which is currently $7.35 in Montana.
“Congressman Rehberg is more out of touch than we ever could have imagined,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Communications Director Eric Schultz said in a statement. “This is not the first time Congressman Rehberg has shown a disdain for the working men and women of his state. Time and again he has voted against giving Montanans a livable wage. But today he has sunk to a new low.”
A spokesman for Rehberg, Jed Link, noted that Rehberg voted for a minimum wage increase that passed in 2007 as well as for an earlier attempt to raise the minimum wage in 2006 as part of a package cutting the estate tax.
“It’s certainly troubling that the Montana Democrat Party and Jon Tester’s campaign have hired someone who apparently doesn’t know what the minimum wage is in Montana,” Link said in an e-mail. “That said, being ignorant of the law doesn’t mean you aren’t still entitled to its protections. If this young man isn’t being paid in accordance with the law by the Montana Democrat Party or Jon Tester’s campaign, Congressman Rehberg’s office will help him in any way it can.”
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.