NEW BRITAIN - President Barack Obama was at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain Wednesday afternoon to push for a higher federal minimum wage.

The president wants to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has proposed doing the same to the state's minimum wage over a three-year period.

Connecticut's minimum wage is currently $8.70. The president said this wage already shows a commitment to the middle class, but that raising it to $10.10 would further strengthen that commitment.

President Obama said raising the minimum wage will help the economy, keep workers loyal and simply called it "good business" and "common sense." He pointed to similar wage increases already done in the private sector as examples to follow.

Republican lawmakers have challenged the president's push, saying it would hurt small businesses. President Obama challenged that notion by saying raising the minimum wage would get more people spending money, which would trickle down and ultimately benefit small businesses.

For extended footage of Obama speaking at CCSU, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.