Democrats circulated a video on Tuesday of Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), who is challenging Democratic Senator Jon Tester in 2012 for his seat, appearing tight-lipped when asked to name the minimum wage in his state.
In the clip, the congressman is pressed repeatedly to identify the rate. In Montana, the minimum wage was recently raised to $7.35 per hour, which is 10 cents higher than the national rate.
A spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said the video suggested Rehberg is "out of touch."
"Congressman Rehberg is more out of touch than we ever could have imagined," DSCC 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."
It didn't take long for Rehberg's team to hit back. The congressman's camp pointed to the fact that the Republican lawmaker voted in favor of raising the minimum wage in 2007 as part of a measure that provided additional funding for the Iraq war.
"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," Jed Link, a spokesman for Rehberg, wrote in an email, presumably referring to the man who asked the congressman about the issue. "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."
According to the Clark Fork Chronicle, Rehberg is the 14th wealthiest member of Congress. He's also cast votes on multiple occasions against Democratic-backed measures aimed at raising the minimum wage.
When asked to state the rate in the clip that surfaced on Tuesday, Rehberg responded, "I don't know. What is it."
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