French Hill On Iraqi Intervention And Minimum Wage

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Republican congressional candidate French Hill said Wednesday he would support air strikes in Iraq if President Barack Obama finds them necessary. U.S. officials confirmed Wednesday that the Iraqi government has asked for air support to fend off Sunni insurgents overrunning vast swaths of the country and threatening Baghdad.

Hill spoke with reporters following remarks to the Political Animals Club at the Governor’s Mansion.

“I would urge the President to analyze all his options. If he believes that is the right thing to do to stabilize the government of Iraq and that it was the right thing for the American forces to do in agreement with the Iraqis then I think it would be a prudent step,” said Hill.

When prompted, Hill said he thinks Iraq war architects Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Paul Bremmer have “wisdom” and should be listened to.

“I consider everybody who has been on the ground there and struggled with these issues that they have something to add. Bremmer worked representing the U.S. as our ambassador there. He knows the members in the government, he knows some of the opposition forces in these other areas, and so I think he’s got a lot of wisdom to share with the administration. But the President needs to listen to his own advisors, he needs to listen to the military forces on the ground, he needs to listen to our current U.S. representatives. But these men have had a lot of tested by fire experience in Iraq, are people to listen to their views as well,” said Hill.

Hill and his opponent, former North Little Rock Mayor Democrat Pat Hays, are vying to replace outgoing Iraq war veteran Tim Griffin for the Second District Congressional seat.

Hill said he opposes both state and federal efforts to raise the minimum wage. He argued the idea of a minimum wage restricts the economy.

“I’m not in favor of increasing the minimum wage because I don’t want to see any barriers to creating early employment and creating more jobs, and the Congressional Budget Office – even in their most conservative assessment – says it’ll cost about a half million jobs nationwide,” said Hill.

The CBO report Hill cited also concludes over 900,000 people would rise above poverty under a potential federal minimum wage of $10.10 per hour. An April poll by Talk Business and Hendrix College showed 79 percent of Arkansans support raising the state minimum wage to $8.50 per hour.

Hill’s Democratic opponent Pat Hays has said he supports raising the state’s minimum wage.

Jacob Kauffman with our content partner KUAR-FM 89.1 News is the author of this report.