Carly Fiorina speaks at the Des Moines Register's Soap Box.

Carly Fiorina speaks at the Des Moines Register’s Soap Box.

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina today said states, not the federal government, should set the floor for hourly wages.

“I believe that minimum wage should be a state decision, not a federal decision,” Fiorina said, to applause from a crowd at the Iowa State Fair. “Why? Because it makes no sense to say that the minimum wage in New York City is the same as in Mason City, Iowa.”

Fiorina is the latest candidate to take a 20-minute turn on The Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox at the state fair and she used nearly all of that time to take questions from the crowd. The minimum wage was the first subject raised.

“A lot of minimum wage jobs are where people start and in those jobs they learn skills to move forward, so we need to be honest about the consequences of raising a minimum wage too high,” Fiorina said. “One of the consequences is young people who are trapped in poor neighborhoods will have less opportunity to learn skills and move forward.”

Fiorina, the former chief of computer giant Hewlett Packard, pledged to both reduce the size of government and make it run more efficiently.

“It is a stain on our nation’s honor that the VA has been broken for 20 years,” Fiorina said. “The professional political class in Washington, D.C. talks a lot about fixin’ a lot of things, but somehow they have never fixed that.”

Fiorina fielded seven questions and drew cheers from the crowd when she denounced Planned Parenthood. Fiorina also touted the idea of simplifying the federal tax code, making it just three pages long, as a “way to curb the power of the wealthy and well-connected.”

AUDIO of Fiorina’s speech

(Photo by Asya Akca)