Raising the minimum wage across the board would make it more difficult for American companies to compete on a global level, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump said Thursday.
"I want to create jobs so you don't have to worry about the minimum wage," Trump told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program
, explaining that with more jobs, people will be making more money. However, he said, "I think having a low minimum wage is not a bad thing for this country."
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The problem, Trump said, is that businesses don't just leave states to go to another state, but they go to other countries where taxes and wages are less than in the U.S.
"I see companies where they have international financiers, people that live in London," said Trump. "They're not even citizens of the United States. They're shopping their companies to different places. And we can't have a situation where our labor is so much more expensive than other countries that we can no longer compete."
Trump also defended his policies against an attack from Jeb Bush, who complained the real estate mogul does not have a conservative record. Trump once again compared himself to former President Ronald Reagan, who started his career as a Democrat before switching to Republican.
"I left my father's business at a pretty young age, and I moved to Manhattan," said Trump. "Everybody in Manhattan is a Democrat. Everybody. You sort of grow up in that atmosphere. And virtually you see races where Republicans don't even run. There's nobody on the line.
"If you get — if you're a Democrat nominee, you automatically win the election, whoever gets that wins the election. So I grew up with that."
But now he describes himself as a Republican, and pointed out that he's actually been involved in politics for a long time, even if this is his first political race.
"I wasn't in politics," Trump said. "It didn't matter whether I was a Republican or whether I was — it was something that absolutely had no bearing on me. But if you look at my general attitudes in life, I think I would have certainly the more conservative label put on me."
Trump on Thursday also called for getting tougher on crime and allowing law enforcement officials to do their jobs "the way they know how to do it."
But with some states legalizing marijuana, it makes it hard to enforce drug laws, and Trump thinks dealers "have to be looked at very strongly," although not, perhaps, a casual nonviolent drug user.
On the issue of equal pay and access to capital for women
, Trump said that women should have "equal access to capital" but it "gets to be very dangerous" when grouping men and women together for a particular pay scale.
"People do different jobs," said Trump. "If they do the same job, they should get the same pay. But it's very hard to say what is the same job. It's a very, very tricky question. I talked about competition with other places and other parts of the world. This is one of the things we have to look at very strongly."
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Also on the program, Trump shared his thoughts on military spending, saying the government spends more on the military than anything else, and much of the money is spent protecting countries such as Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Germany.
"I'm saying, what are we getting out of this?" he asked. "These are competitors of ours ... there are so many places where we can cut because we have the massive deficits."
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