O'Beirne claimed Kerry "very quietly" endorsed minimum wage hike
Though Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) spoke in favor of raising the minimum wage throughout his 2004 presidential campaign and issued a proposal to do so on June 18, 2004, National Review Washington editor Kate O'Beirne asserted on the March 12 edition of CNN's The Capital Gang: "[I]f the Republicans were on such defense on the issue of raising the national minimum wage ... John Kerry would have mentioned it in the course of the campaign. I don't remember John Kerry ever advocating during this campaign an increase in the minimum wage." When Capital Gang panelist Mark Shields corrected O'Beirne, saying, "Senator Kerry did endorse the minimum wage. I heard him do it," O'Beirne remarked, "Very quietly!" Panelist and CNN host Robert Novak added: "Maybe in his pillow."
Here are examples of Kerry's overt and repeated statements of support for raising the minimum wage:
- The Washington Post reported  on June 19, 2004: "Sen. John F. Kerry called yesterday for a 36 percent hike in the federal minimum wage over the next three years, contending that such an increase would help 7 million working people escape poverty." A New York Times report , also from June 19, on Kerry's minimum wage proposal noted that "Mr. Kerry has spoken generally about raising the minimum wage throughout the campaign and supports legislation making it $7 sponsored by his colleague from Massachusetts, Senator Edward M. Kennedy."
- The "economy " section of JohnKerry.com, the website of the Kerry-Edwards '04 campaign, featured a "detailed plan " to raise the minimum wage.
- The 2004 Democratic National Platform  stated:
"The dream of the middle class should belong to all Americans willing to work for it. We still have work to do as long as millions of Americans work full-time, fulfill their responsibilities, and continue to live in poverty. We will offer these Americans a ladder to the middle class. That means raising the minimum wage to $7.00, increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit and extending child credits so that parents who work full-time don't have to raise their children in poverty."
- In an October 22, 2004, speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, "Mr. Kerry said he would raise the minimum wage, from $5.15 to $7 an hour, helping nine million women," according to a New York Times report  the next day.
- During the third presidential debate  on October 13, 2004, Kerry stated: "It's long overdue time to raise the minimum wage."
- In his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, vice presidential candidate John Edwards said : "We will do that when John [Kerry] is in the White House. We will raise the minimum wage, finish the job on welfare reform, and bring good paying jobs to the places that need them."
- In a March 2, 2004, speech , Kerry stated: "[W]e will raise the minimum wage so that no one in America works a 40-hour work week and can't get out of poverty."
- Even before the February 3, 2004, South Carolina primary, Kerry told the Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) Sun News: "I helped lead the fight to pass the last minimum wage increase in 1997 and I propose increasing the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation so it keeps pace with the cost of living." [1/31/04]
From the March 12 edition of CNN's The Capital Gang:
O'BEIRNE: If this was such a winning issue, if the Republicans were on such defense on the issue of raising the national minimum wage -- because of course, many states have higher minimum wages -- John Kerry would have mentioned it in the course of the campaign. I don't remember John Kerry ever advocating during this campaign an increase in the minimum wage. That doesn't strike me as a winning Democratic issue.
AL HUNT (panelist): Mark, Kate says the minimum wage doesn't resonate because Senator Kerry didn't talk about it much. The people in Florida had a chance to vote on it, and I think they voted, what, about 4 or 5 to 1 for increasing the minimum wage.
SHIELDS: Both Nevada and Florida had referenda, where they went 70 percent to increase the minimum wage, Al. And Senator Kerry did endorse the minimum wage. I heard him do it --
NOVAK: He talked about it a lot, did he?
SHIELDS: -- during the -- no, I mean, I heard him do it during the campaign.
O'BEIRNE: Very quietly!
SHIELDS: But I'd just -- I'd just point out --
NOVAK: Maybe in his pillow.