President Donald Trump’s efforts to reshape the Federal Reserve stumbled on Monday, with one of his potential nominees for the Fed’s board withdrawing from consideration and another being enveloped by fresh doubts.
Herman Cain, a former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, asked to be taken out of the running for an influential post at the U.S. central bank, Trump tweeted. Cain had dropped out of the 2012 presidential race after facing allegations of sexual harassment and infidelity — issues that resurfaced after Trump said earlier this month that he planned to nominate Cain for the Fed.
Trump tweeted that “My friend Herman Cain, a truly wonderful man, has asked me not to nominate him for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board. I will respect his wishes.”
Separately, CNN on Monday unearthed opinion columns that Trump’s other pick for a Fed board vacancy, conservative commentator Stephen Moore, wrote in the early 2000s. Among the opinions Moore asserted in those columns was that women should be barred from refereeing, announcing or even selling beer at men’s college basketball games. Those writings appeared on the conservative National Review website.
Moore told CNN that the articles were “a spoof.”
“I have a sense of humor,” he added.
Cain’s nomination had already appeared doomed after four Republican senators said earlier this month that they wouldn’t vote to confirm him if he were nominated. Republicans hold just a three-seat majority in the Senate, so the opposition of those senators, on top of unified Democratic opposition, made Cain’s prospects appear impossible. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declined to say two weeks ago whether the chamber would confirm Cain.
Several other controversies have also dogged Moore. A lien of more than $75,000 was filed against him in January 2018 for unpaid taxes. Reports have also indicated that he has fallen behind on alimony and child support payments to his ex-wife.