President Donald Trump’s selection for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Stephen Moore, is pulling out of consideration for the job hours after he said he was “all in” for the central bank.
Trump said on Twitter Thursday afternoon that Moore decided to withdraw, a move that came amid growing objections to his potential nomination among Senate Republicans.
“I’ve asked Steve to work with me toward future economic growth in our Country,” Trump said in a tweet.
Hours earlier, Moore said in an interview with Bloomberg News that he spoke to someone at the White House on Wednesday and had no indication he would not be nominated. “My biggest ally is the president,” he said. “He’s full speed ahead.”
“I’m all in,” Moore said.
Moore’s exit comes less than two weeks after Trump’s pick for another Fed seat — former Godfather’s Pizza Inc. Chief Executive Officer Herman Cain — withdrew from consideration as criticism related to sexual harassment allegations eroded support for him.
Moore was described by some critics as a threat to the Fed. In addition to being an unpredictable commentator and unorthodox economic thinker, Moore struck some economists as a partisan pick who might inject a short-term political agenda into monetary policy deliberations, which central bank independence is designed to guard against.
In a statement after Trump’s tweet, Moore said he was withdrawing because “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. ” He said he’d continue to be a “loud economic voice” advocating Trump’s policies.
He said in the earlier interview that he believed he’d win votes from some Senate Democrats if he could advance to a confirmation hearing before the chamber’s Banking Committee. Moore said he expected Trump to formally nominate him for the Fed within about three weeks.
But he said that he’d withdraw if Trump decides that’s best.
“I’m going to do what the president wants me to do,” he said. “If he wants me to keep fighting, I’m going to keep fighting. If he thinks it’s time to throw in the towel, I’ll do that.”
Moore expressed surprise at push-back to his candidacy from Senate Republicans, including Iowa’s Joni Ernst and South Dakota’s John Thune, the second-ranking GOP leader. They have raised concerns about Moore’s past writings in which he disparaged women, and some senators have questioned whether he’s sufficiently independent from the White House.
“Some of the stuff about women that’s come out, this was all humorous, meant to be humorous pieces,” Moore said. “Certainly that’s caused some problems with a number of the senators. So my strategy is I want to sit down with them in the weeks ahead.”
He said of Ernst’s concerns specifically: “Just because she’s ‘no’ today doesn’t mean she’s ‘no’ three months from now. The world is going to be very different two months from now.”