Moore seeks to save nomination from 'scorched-earth' attacks

Moore seeks to save nomination from 'scorched-earth' attacks
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Stephen MooreStephen MooreOn The Money: Trump seeks to shift spotlight from impeachment to economy | Appropriators agree to Dec. 20 funding deadline | New study says tariffs threaten 1.5M jobs Trump tax adviser floats middle-class cuts ahead of 2020 Sunday shows - Next impeachment phase dominates MORE on Wednesday sought to salvage his shot at a Federal Reserve Board nomination by touting his economic record and condemning his critics for “scorched-earth battle tactics.”

In a Wednesday opinion piece for The Hill, Moore defended his fitness for the Fed seat and insisted he would bring a sorely needed “prosperity-maximizing philosophy” to the central bank.

His defense comes as the shot at confirmation is slipping away amid growing backlash from GOP senators over his track record of making controversial remarks.

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Moore has said he would remove himself from consideration if he becomes a political "liability" for Senate Republicans. But his Wednesday opinion piece is a notable turn toward the attack after weeks of explaining and apologizing for past commentary.

“It should be clear to all that the left will engage in scorched-earth battle tactics to destroy almost anyone that he nominates for anything,” Moore wrote of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE, who floated him for the Fed board in March.

“That obviously includes me, so I don’t take it personally. But it does matter who has a vote on the Fed’s Board of Governors, and who will influence the internal debate regarding how it exercises its enormous power,” Moore added.

Moore said on a conservative talk radio show Wednesday that he would have declined Trump’s offer if he had anticipated this level of scrutiny.

"If I had had any idea that this kind of inspection was going to go on, which totally caught me off guard, I would have told the president, 'You know, Mr. President, I can't do Senate confirmation. I've got too many skeletons in my closet,' and I do,” Moore said on “The Michael Medved Show.”

While Moore blamed Democrats for his political woes, the major obstacle to his potential nomination is growing skepticism from Senate Republicans.

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GOP senators have criticized Moore for several columns of his published years ago by the National Review questioning the value of women in the workforce and sports, along with his pointed attacks on the Fed and its chairman, Jerome Powell.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse Johnson opens door to subpoenaing whistleblower, Schiff, Bidens MORE (R-S.C.), one of Trump’s top congressional allies, called Moore’s potential nomination “very problematic” on Tuesday, adding “it would be tough” to get him confirmed.

Moore, a former Trump campaign adviser, is under fire for writing a 2002 column opposing the inclusion of women in sports.

“Here's the rule change I propose: No more women refs, no women announcers, no women beer venders, no women anything,” Moore wrote in the column, which was unearthed last week by CNN's KFile.

Moore has said that the column was supposed to be “a spoof” and that he did not agree with its contents. He added in the Wednesday radio interview that he was “totally ashamed” of the column and did not even remember writing it.

He has also taken heat for arguing that a wife earning more than her husband could be “disruptive” to a family and that “the male needs to be the breadwinner of the family."

Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Turkish media paints White House visit as Erdoğan triumph over Trump Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators at White House MORE (R-Iowa), vice chairman of the Senate GOP conference, has called Moore’s writings “ridiculous,” saying he is almost certain to be rejected by the Senate.

If that happened, Moore would be the fourth of Trump's Fed picks derailed by Senate Republicans, and the second in quick succession. Herman Cain, who Trump also floated for the Fed, withdrew from consideration last week amid opposition from GOP senators.

Moore has accused his critics of “character assassination” and argued that he would be easily confirmed if the debate focused on his economic credentials.

“I have been right a lot more than I've been wrong on monetary policy,” Moore wrote Wednesday, citing his “harsh criticisms of the Fed Board raising interest rates last September and December.”

Moore blasted the central bank for raising rates at the end of last year amid lagging financial markets and mounting concerns of a global slowdown, echoing concerns raised by Trump throughout 2018.

Powell announced in January that the Fed would hold off on future rate hikes while inflation remains below the bank’s 2-percent target range. Moore touted the Fed’s pause as “vindication” of his criticism.

“Ever since reversing course in January, the economy and the stock market have been on a tear — and still no inflation,” Moore wrote, though federal continues to show low inflation.

“I rest my case,” he said.

Moore’s close ties to Trump have also raised concerns among some Republicans, as well as economists across the political spectrum. His conservative critics, including Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyDeval Patrick: a short runway, but potential to get airborne Ocasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field Jon Huntsman expected to run for governor in Utah MORE (R-Utah), have expressed concerns that Moore would be too partisan for the independent central bank.

Moore called for the mass firing of Fed officials in February and authored a column the following month blasting Powell and the central bank. That column reportedly inspired Trump to consider Moore for a Fed post.