Trump Won’t Nominate Stephen Moore for Fed Board
WASHINGTON — President Trump said he would not nominate Stephen Moore for a seat on the Federal Reserve board after several Republican lawmakers raised concerns about the conservative economist’s previous comments denigrating women.
Mr. Trump, in a tweet, said “Steve Moore, a great pro-growth economist and a truly fine person, has decided to withdraw from the Fed process.”
Mr. Trump added that Mr. Moore would “work with me toward future economic growth in our Country.”
Mr. Moore, who continued to insist as recently as Thursday that he retained Mr. Trump’s support, appeared unlikely to win Senate confirmation after Republican lawmakers criticized his past comments and financial issues stemming from a 2010 divorce.
In a letter to Mr. Trump, Mr. Moore said “I am respectfully asking that you withdraw my name from consideration. The unrelenting attacks on my character have become untenable for me and my family and 3 more months of this would be too hard on us.”
This is the second time in recent weeks that one of Mr. Trump’s Fed picks was forced to withdraw over concerns about their views and attitudes toward women. Herman Cain, a former pizza magnate, bowed out as he battled previous accusations of sexual harassment that ended his 2012 presidential campaign.
Mr. Moore, a former editorial board member of The Wall Street Journal, had written a series of opinion articles suggesting that women should not earn as much as men, demeaning their athletic abilities and questioning their right to attend sporting events.
In 2013, a judge in Virginia held Mr. Moore in contempt of court for failing to pay more than $300,000 in child support and alimony to his former wife. The Internal Revenue Service placed a lien on his home after he failed to pay $75,000 in back taxes.
On Tuesday, Senator Joni Ernst, Republican of Iowa, said she had told the White House she was unlikely to support Mr. Moore, becoming the first senator in her party to be nearing an explicit disavowal of his nomination.
“I would vote no against him, should he come up for a vote,” Ms. Ernst told Bloomberg television on Wednesday. “I know there are a number of other colleagues that have spoken out as well.”
Other Republican senators expressing concerns over the nomination included Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Lindsey O. Graham of South Carolina, a staunch ally of Mr. Trump.
Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, a key vote on the banking committee, said on Thursday that Mr. Moore was in “serious trouble.”
Democrats criticized both Mr. Moore and Mr. Cain as too partisan and loyal to Mr. Trump for the Fed, which is historically independent. Several prominent economists, including conservatives like N. Gregory Mankiw of Harvard University, said Mr. Moore was not qualified for the position.
But like Mr. Cain before him, questions about attitudes toward women seem to have soured Republican senators on Mr. Moore.
Mr. Cain ended his 2012 presidential campaign amid allegations of sexual harassment from multiple women, which returned after Mr. Trump indicated he would nominate Mr. Cain to the Fed.
Mr. Trump picked Mr. Moore after Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, showed the president an op-ed article co-authored by Mr. Moore in The Journal. That piece called for the Fed to cut interest rates and said the central bank posed the biggest risk to the American economy — views that the president shares.
But Mr. Moore’s long paper trail, dating back two decades, of previous writings revealing a pattern of demeaning women and their role in society ultimately helped sink his candidacy.