Finance

Cain says he won't back down, wants to be nominated to Fed

Herman Cain, who President Trump floated for a position on the Federal Reserve Board, said Wednesday he will continue to seek a spot at the central bank despite almost insurmountable Republican opposition.

Cain told The Wall Street Journal in a Wednesday interview that he will not withdraw from consideration for a nomination to the Fed board after GOP senators all but doomed his appointment.

The 2012 GOP presidential candidate told the Journal he's "very committed" to seeing the vetting process through after Trump announced earlier this month he intended to nominate Cain to the Fed if he passed a background check.

"The president asked me one simple question," Cain told the Journal. "He said, 'Would you consider doing this if you make it through the process?' I said 'yes.' Didn't hesitate."

Four of the Senate's 53 Republicans announced last week that they would refuse to vote for Cain, a 2012 GOP presidential candidate, if he was formally nominated by Trump.

GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Cory Gardner (Colo.), Mitt Romney (Utah) and Kevin Cramer (N.D.) said they would not vote for Cain, and several others have expressed qualms with Cain's background and character.

Cain was accused by four women of sexual harassment while he led the National Restaurant Association, a Washington, D.C., trade group, between 1996 and 1998. He has denied all of the allegations but reached financial settlements with two of his accusers.

Republican senators also voiced concerns about Cain's close ties to Trump, fierce partisanship and leadership of a super PAC supporting the president's reelection.

If nominated, Cain would need the unlikely support of at least one Senate Democrat to be confirmed if all other Republicans voted for his nomination. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who has bucked his party to support other Trump appointees, also said last week he wouldn't vote for Cain.

Larry Kudlow, director of the White House National Economic Council, said Tuesday that the administration had been interviewing potential candidates to replace Cain and Stephen Moore, who Trump also floated for a Fed seat.

"I think at the end of the day, it will probably be up to Herman Cain to stay in that process or not," Kudlow said. "As far as we're concerned, he's still in that process and it's proceeding in an orderly way."

Cain told the Journal that "What Kudlow was doing was giving me an out, and I appreciate that, but I don't want an out."

"You know that the president is a fighter, and Kudlow is a fighter. They might be getting a lot of blowback from some folks, I don't know. But I don't think they're getting uncomfortable with it," Cain added.

Updated at 4:12 p.m.

Outbrain