Business

Trump pick Stephen Moore drops out of Federal Reserve race

Stephen Moore Image copyright Gage Skidmore
Image caption Conservative pundit Stephen Moore was criticised for making sexist comments

Another of Donald Trump's picks for a seat on the Federal Reserve has dropped out of the running following fierce criticism of his views.

The US president tweeted that Stephen Moore, "a great pro-growth economist and a truly fine person, has decided to withdraw from the Fed process".

It follows weeks of attacks on his changing opinions on monetary policy and sexist comments about women.

Another Trump pick, Herman Cain, withdrew from consideration in April.

Mr Trump had asked Mr Moore, 59, to fill one of two vacant positions on the central bank's seven-member board, but had not formally nominated him.

But some lawmakers feared the conservative pundit, a Trump loyalist who supported tax cuts, would threaten the Fed's independence.

There were also concerns about his views on interest-rate policy, given as recently as September 2015 he called for eliminating the US central bank.

More recently, he said Fed Chairman Jerome Powell should be fired after the central bank raised interest rates in December.

However, it was his history of making sexist comments that appear to have most hurt his chances.

In one newspaper column that he has since apologised for, Mr Moore joked that women should not referee men's basketball games and suggested they should not be in military combat.

In another, in 2014, he said that if women were paid more than men, society could be destabilised.

Image copyright Getty/Mark Wilson
Image caption Herman Cain made a bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012

Several Republican senators had said he would have difficulty winning confirmation.

In his tweets, Mr Trump said: "Steve won the battle of ideas including Tax Cuts... and deregulation which have produced non-inflationary prosperity for all Americans. I've asked Steve to work with me toward future economic growth in our Country."

Democrats hailed Mr Moore's withdrawal. "The only thing less funny than some of Mr Moore's tasteless, offensive, sexist 'jokes' was the idea that President Trump would even consider him for a seat on the Federal Reserve," said New York's Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate.

The president, who has criticised the central bank, has been accused of putting forward political loyalists to the Fed.

Just weeks ago Mr Cain, an outspoken defender of Mr Trump and a critic of the Fed, dropped out of the running amid political opposition.

Mitt Romney, Utah senator and former Republican presidential candidate, was one four Republican senators who said they planned to vote against him.

"I would like to see nominees that are economists first and not partisans," Mr Romney told the Politico website in April.

More on this story