Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders announced this weekend he will cut staffers’ hours so that they can effectively be paid a $15-an-hour minimum wage, prompting mockery from critics who say the move is more evidence that Sanders’ plan to raise the national minimum wage is hypocritical and would only lead to less work and more unemployment.
In response, Sanders told The Des Moines Register he was “Very proud” to lead the first major presidential campaign with unionized workers, but also “Bothered” that news of the internal strife had spilled into the media.
WATCH: GUTFELD ON SANDERS’ STAFF DEMANDING MORE WAGES. Reaction from conservative commentators and lawmakers was unsparing.
The episode underscored a key vulnerability that has dogged Sanders’ campaign for months, and which intensified after Sanders released ten years of his tax returns earlier this year.
The documents showed Sanders and his wife paid a 26 percent effective tax rate on $561,293 in income, and made more than $1 million in both 2016 and 2017.
According to a letter from campaign staffers to Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir, workers were being “Expected to build the largest grassroots organizing program in American history while making poverty wages.”
Sanders admitted in a combative Fox News town hall in April that “You’re going to pay more in taxes” if he becomes president.