President Trump says Stephen Moore is withdrawing from consideration to serve on the Federal Reserve Board.
Moore’s chances of being confirmed looked to be in jeopardy, as a growing number of Republican senators expressed their concerns.
In two tweets, the President said Moore decided to withdraw — but “I’ve asked Steve to work with me toward future economic growth in our Country.”
Steve Moore, a great pro-growth economist and a truly fine person, has decided to withdraw from the Fed process. Steve won the battle of ideas including Tax Cuts....
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2019
According to Moore’s public relations team, Moore praised the President’s economic policies and expressed continued support for Trump as he withdrew from consideration.
“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,” said Moore.
Stephen Moore told Trump the "unrelenting attacks on my character have become untenable for me and my family." Adds "Trumponomics has been VINDICATED"
per his CRC Public Relations, who had been assisting him through the process: pic.twitter.com/uftQsffbgj
— Brian Cheung (@bcheungz) May 2, 2019
In an interview with Yahoo Finance on Wednesday, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) had predicted the President would not officially nominate Moore.
Portman declined to say whether he would personally support Moore.
Since Trump announced he was considering Moore, critics argued Moore is too close to the president and too political for the Fed.
But Moore’s chances appeared to have taken a turn in recent days, after several GOP senators took issue with his controversial comments about women.
If every Democratic senator were to vote against Moore, he could only afford to lose three Republican votes.
A spokesperson for Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) told Yahoo Finance she would not support Moore.
“Don’t bother sending (the nomination) up, that’s all I gotta say,” Ernst told NBC.
Moore was also catching heat for calling Cleveland and Cincinnati — Portman’s’ hometown — the “armpits of America.”
“I'm told it was a bad joke. And of course Cleveland and Cincinnati were both thrown into that, both of which are garden cities. They're not armpits,” said Portman. “Obviously, I'm very concerned about those kinds of comments. And again, if it was a joke, it was a really bad one.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) — the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee — was not amused.
This week, Brown blasted Moore’s comments about the Ohio cities saying he should be disqualified from serving on the Fed.
‘How dare you demean them’
“He wasn’t just insulting Cincinnati and Cleveland. He was dismissing millions of Americans who have been ignored by Washington and preyed on by Wall Street,” Brown said on the Senate floor. “Across the Industrial Heartland, tens of millions of Americans are raising families, serving in our military, powering our companies, and contributing to our country. Mr. Moore, how dare you demean them and their work.”
Brown opposed Moore from the beginning. Last month, Brown called Moore and Herman Cain “political hacks” in an interview with Yahoo Finance.
After Moore withdrew from consideration, Brown called on the President to pick an independent and qualified candidate.
“The Fed has enormous influence over the lives of working people across the country, and whomever the President nominates to serve must understand that we measure the strength of our economy based on the paychecks of those workers, not Wall Street’s profits,” said Brown in a statement.
Trump was also considering Cain for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, but Cain withdrew his name from consideration. Four Republican Senators had already said they would vote “no” on Cain’s nomination.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declined to take a position on Moore’s nomination when asked about it earlier this week.
“We’re happy to receive nominations when we get them. There are a lot of people being considered for all kinds of positions that are not yet nominated -- and if he is nominated, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” said McConnell.
One Republican senator told Yahoo Finance there are “too many dumb comments” for Moore to be confirmed.
Shortly before the President tweeted the news, Moore told Bloomberg he was “all in.”
Jessica Smith is a reporter for Yahoo Finance based in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter at @JessicaASmith8.