President Donald Trump announced Thursday afternoon that Stephen Moore, his second of two choices to sit on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, had withdrawn from the nomination process after widespread criticism of his past remarks.
Moore, a longtime TV economist whose many financial predictions have often been comically wrong, had just this morning seemed to indicate he was planning to go ahead with the nomination process, telling Bloomberg, “My biggest ally is the president. He’s full speed ahead.”
Moore reiterated he’d talked to the White House on Tuesday and they were “all in” on his nomination to the Fed.
Despite Moore’s 11th hour nothing to see here routine, his chances of joining the Fed looked dead on arrival after a growing number of GOP defections over, among other things, his history of deeply sexist comments and personal financial woes. A Guardian US story on Thursday morning reported that he’d been underpaying his ex-wife’s alimony for nearly a decade.
Moore has since apologized (sorta) for his past writings, saying they were meant in jest but wound up “not so funny.”
Moore’s withdrawal comes just weeks after Trump’s other choice to sit on the Fed, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain, announced he would no longer seek the seat. Cain’s prospects were hampered by a history of sexual harassment allegations, prompting him to admit in 2011 that he had settled one such claim against him.
The president has yet to announce who he plans to nominate following both Moore and Cain’s implosions, but given the fact that his first two choices were each deeply flawed enough to pull themselves out of the running before the official nomination process had begun, it’s a fairly safe bet that whomever he selects will probably be no great prize, either.
Update, 1:56 p.m. ET: In his letter to Trump announcing his withdrawal, Moore cited “the unrelenting attacks on my character” calling them “untenable for me and my family.”