Cain says he withdrew from Fed consideration because of 'pay cut'

Cain says he withdrew from Fed consideration because of 'pay cut'
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Herman CainHerman CainTrump puts hopes for Fed revolution on unconventional candidate Acosta on shaky ground as GOP support wavers The Hill's Morning Report - Sanders falters as rivals rise MORE on Monday wrote that he withdrew from consideration for a Federal Reserve appointment because of the money and influence he would lose by working for the central bank.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE announced Monday morning that Cain had backed out from a potential nomination to the Fed board, two weeks after four Republican senators effectively blocked his confirmation by voicing opposition.

But Cain argued in a column published Monday afternoon by The Western Journal that the GOP opposition and concerns about his background had nothing to do with his decision to withdraw.

Cain was accused of harassment by four women who worked for him at the National Restaurant Association, a trade group he led from 1996 to 1998. He has denied the allegations but reached legal settlements with two of his accusers.

Cain wrote Monday that while he “did like the idea of serving on the Fed,” he did not want to take “a pay cut” because of “ethical restrictions.”

“I would have to let go of most of my business interests. I could not serve on any boards. I could not do any paid speeches. I could not advocate on behalf of capitalism, host my radio show or make appearances on Fox Business,” he wrote.

"Without getting too specific about how big a pay cut this would be, let’s just say I’m pretty confident that if your boss told you to take a similar pay cut, you’d tell him where to go," he added.

Cain also wondered if he would “be giving up too much influence” through his media commentary “to get a little bit of policy impact.”

“If I gave that up for one seat on the Fed board, would that be a good trade-off?” Cain wrote, saying he reaches “4 million people a month with the ideas I believe in.”

Trump said on April 4 he would nominate Cain, a 2012 GOP presidential candidate, to the Fed board if he cleared the White House vetting process. His potential nomination was later derailed when four Republican senators announced they would vote against Cain if he were formally nominated by Trump.

With four of the 53 Senate Republicans opposing him, Cain would have needed the support of the rest of the GOP conference and at least one Democrat to be confirmed. Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinPoll: McConnell is most unpopular senator Dems open to killing filibuster in next Congress Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE (D-W.Va.), who broke ranks to support some of Trump’s previous nominees, said he would vote against Cain.

Trump's top economic adviser, Larry KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan KudlowMORE, said last week that the White House had been interviewing potential replacements for Cain and Stephen MooreStephen MooreTrump puts hopes for Fed revolution on unconventional candidate Acosta on shaky ground as GOP support wavers Americans are trillion better off thanks to rising stocks under Trump MORE, another potential Fed nominee floated by Trump.

Cain denied reports he withdrew because of political pressure and said he had planned to meet with senators “skeptical of my qualifications.”

“At this stage of my life, I’m doing all the things I want to do. I can go where I want and say what I want,” Cain wrote. “So anything you hear about a reason other than what I’ve laid out here is (OK, I’ll go ahead and say it) fake news.”

Updated at 5:23 p.m.