Stephen Moore ends bid for Fed over 'unrelenting attacks on my character'

Stephen Moore ends bid for Fed over 'unrelenting attacks on my character'
© Fox News

Stephen MooreStephen MooreWhy trade war with China is a dangerous game for America Trump, Kudlow 'had it out' after contradiction on who is hurt by tariffs: report Why free traders and all Americans should back Trump on China policy MORE told President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE on Thursday that he is withdrawing from consideration for a Federal Reserve nomination due to the “unrelenting attacks” from his critics.

Moore, whom Trump floated in March for a spot on the Fed board, told the president in a letter that he and his family could not handle the mounting criticism over his nomination, much of which centered around Moore's resurfaced past writings. 

“I am respectfully asking that you withdraw my name from consideration," Moore, a conservative commentator and former Trump campaign adviser, wrote to the president. "The unrelenting attacks on my character have become untenable for me and my family and 3 more months of this would be too hard on us."

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump said Thursday afternoon that Moore had pulled out of the running for a nomination to Fed board, just hours after Moore told reporters he was "all in" on a bid for the central bank. 

“Steve Moore, a great pro-growth economist and a truly fine person, has decided to withdraw from the Fed process,” Trump, who had not yet formally nominated Moore, tweeted.

Moore’s shot at the position fell apart this week as several Republican senators raised concerns about Moore's background and expressed doubts about his political viability.

In the weeks leading up to his anticipated nomination, Moore, an opinion contributor for The Hill, came under fire for several disparaging claims about women he made in past opinion pieces and interviews, including one in which he wrote that women should not be involved in sports.

“Here’s the rule change I propose: No more women refs, no women announcers, no women beer venders, no women anything,” he wrote in a 2002 piece for National Review unearthed by CNN's K-File.

In that column, which Moore said was meant as humor, he said the sports broadcaster Bonnie Bernstein could participate in sports but only in a halter top.

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneFrustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' Hillicon Valley: Assange hit with 17 more charges | Facebook removes record 2.2B fake profiles | Senate passes anti-robocall bill | Senators offer bill to help companies remove Huawei equipment Senate passes anti-robocall bill MORE (R-S.D.), the Senate GOP whip, said Thursday he did not know if Moore could win over enough Republicans, while Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump declassification move unnerves Democrats Climate change is a GOP issue, too New Yorker cover titled 'The Shining' shows Graham, McConnell, Barr polishing Trump's shoes MORE (R-S.C.), a close Trump ally, called Moore’s potential nomination “problematic.”

Those comments followed ambivalence about Moore from a number of GOP women in the Senate.

Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstSenate defense bill would make military sexual harassment standalone crime Congress, White House near deal on spending, debt limit Trump mulling visit to ethanol refinery later this month: report MORE (R-Iowa), vice chair of the Senate Republican conference, said Tuesday she would not support Moore due in part to his “ridiculous” commentary and urged the White House to pull his nomination.

Moore 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."

Republicans also expressed concerns about Moore’s close ties to Trump and fierce partisanship in his praise of the president's policies. Moore has been one of the chief evangelists of Trump’s economic agenda, and has echoed the president's attacks on the Fed amid a series of interest rate hikes.

In February, Moore called for the mass firing of Fed officials and economists in response to the bank’s widely criticized December rate hike.

He told Trump on Thursday that he would be “always at your disposal.”

“I will continue to be a loud economic voice advocating for your policies, which will keep us on a prosperous path of 3 to 4% growth with rising wages and low inflation for as far as the eye can see,” Moore wrote.