Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke would be looking for a new job if Mitt Romney wins the White House.
The presumptive Republican candidate told Fox Business on Thursday that he would like to pick a new person to head the nation's central bank when Bernanke's term expires in 2014.
Bernanke's efforts to boost the economy have come under heavy Republican scrutiny, and Romney had previously indicated he would be seeking a change at the Fed if elected president.
But the certainty of that change came into question recently, after a top Romney economic adviser advocated for keeping Bernanke around for a third term.
Glenn Hubbard, an economist advising Romney's campaign, told Reuters on Wednesday that Bernanke should get "every consideration" to stay on the job when his term expires.
"Ben is a model technocrat. He gets paid nothing for getting kicked around all the time. I think they ought to pat him on the back," he said.
Hubbard, a candidate to head the Fed under President George W. Bush (Bernanke got the job), noted he had a long history with the chairman, saying they had known each other since they were "practically kids."
Romney said he did not have anyone in mind to replace Bernanke, only that the issue would get his "full analysis" when it came time to make that call.
While they might disagree on what Bernanke's fate should be, both Romney and Hubbard have been critical of the Fed's recent policies, including two rounds of massive bond-buying known as "quantitative easing."
On Wednesday, minutes released by the Fed revealed that several Fed officials judged that the central bank would need to do more to help the economy "fairly soon" if the economy does not pick up the pace — the strongest indication yet that the central bank is coming closer to taking action. Many members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said a third round of easing could boost the economy, while a few express concerns about the risks it posed.
Romney, like other Republicans, expressed concern about such a strategy.
"I don’t think QE2 was terribly effective; I think a QE3 and other Fed stimulus is not going to help this economy," he said. "I think that is the wrong way to go."