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 MooreTrump administration weighing tax incentive for US households to invest in stock market On The Money: Trump adviser presses House to make Bezos testify | Kudlow says tax-cut proposal coming this fall | NY Fed says Boeing woes could hurt GDP | Delta aims to be first carbon neutral airline The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in MORE told President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussian sanctions will boomerang States, cities rethink tax incentives after Amazon HQ2 backlash A Presidents Day perspective on the nature of a free press 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."

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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 ThuneMcConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills Senate votes to rein in Trump's power to attack Iran As many as eight GOP senators expected to vote to curb Trump's power to attack Iran 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 GrahamSenate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony US defense chief says Taliban deal 'looks very promising' but not without risk Lawmakers wary as US on cusp of initial deal with Taliban 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 ErnstProgressive group backs Senate candidates in Georgia, Iowa Democrats seek to drive wedge between Trump, GOP on whistleblowers Senate acquits Trump, ending impeachment saga 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.