Stockbridge businessman Herman Cain has withdrawn his name from consideration to join the Federal Reserve board of governors, President Donald Trump said Monday, preventing what was bound to be a contentious confirmation process after several Republican senators voiced their opposition.
Trump said he would respect the former 2012 presidential candidate’s wishes and look elsewhere to fill the seven-person advisory board, which helps oversee the nation’s monetary policy.
“My friend Herman Cain, a truly wonderful man, has asked me not to nominate him for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board,” Trump tweeted. “I will respect his wishes. Herman is a great American who truly loves our Country!”
The 73-year-old’s confirmation was seen as doubtful after four Republican senators indicated they would oppose his nomination.
Sexual harassment allegations that ended Cain’s White House aspirations in 2011 were expected to reemerge during Senate hearings, as well as Cain’s role in the creation of a pro-Trump super PAC. The Fed Board of Governors has a reputation of being independent and apolitical.
Trump had deferred to Cain on whether he wanted to continue with the vetting process.
Cain told The Wall Street Journal last week that he was committed to seeing that process through and that the Fed was in need of “new voices.”
“I don’t quit because of negative criticism,” Cain told the newspaper. “I don’t quit because of negative attacks. And I don’t quit because several senators have expressed reservations about my qualifications.”
Until recently, Cain hosted a talk radio program on WSB Radio, which has the same parent company as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He previously served as chairman of the Kansas City branch of the Federal Reserve and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza.
Shortly after Trump tweeted about Cain, key Democrats ramped up their criticism of Stephen Moore, the president’s pick for a second vacancy on the Fed board. The founder of the conservative political group Club for Growth, Moore has also been a vocal booster of Trump.
“Herman Cain was woefully unqualified to be on the Federal Reserve and his failure to garner adequate support should not be used as a pathway by Senate Republicans to approve Stephen Moore, who is equally unqualified, and perhaps more political,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
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