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- Herman Cain, the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and 2012 Republican presidential nominee, was selected by President Donald Trump for a spot on the Federal Reserve Board on April 4.
- While the nomination has not been formally submitted to the Senate for consideration, it appears that Cain’s selection is dead in the water.
- A fourth Republican senator came out against Trump’s pick of Cain on Thursday, meaning the creator of the "9-9-9" tax plan would be short of the votes required to be confirmed if all Democrats also oppose.
Herman Cain’s candidacy for the Federal Reserve Board appears to be dead in the water, just one week after President Donald Trump announced the pick.
A fourth GOP senator came out against the nomination of Cain, the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and 2012 Republican presidential candidate. Given the GOP’s 53 to 47 vote majority in the Senate, Cain wouldn’t have enough votes to get through the Senate confirmation process if all Democratic members oppose his nomination.
On Thursday, Sen. Kevin Cramer joined fellow Republicans Lisa Murkowski, Cory Gardner, and Mitt Romney in opposing Cain’s nomination.
"If I had to vote today, I couldn’t vote for Herman Cain," Cramer told reporters.
Cramer specifically cited allegations of sexual harassment made against Cain as the primary reason for not supporting his potential nomination. It was revealed during the 2012 race that two women received settlements after making sexual harassment claims against Cain while he was serving as CEO of the National Restaurant Association.
Employees of the association also detailed questionable behavior during Cain’s tenure, including inappropriate remarks and questions. The allegations led Cain to drop out of the presidential election.
"The allegations that drove him from the presidential race are just so obviously serious," Cramer said. "I’m not talking about his position on interest rates or anything like that, but the sexual harassment stuff. Until it’s better explained I couldn’t vote for him."
While Cain served as chairman of the board for the Kansas City Federal Reserve branch from 1995 to 1996, the former pizza chain CEO has no formal training in economics.
Trump has so far stood behind his selection of Cain, but told reporters on Wednesday that it was "up to Herman" whether to move forward with the vetting process.
"As to how he’s doing in the process, that I don’t know," Trump said. "You go through a process. But Herman is a great guy, and I hope he does well."
Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economic adviser, also said at an event on Thursday that the White House stands behind Cain "at the moment," but the potential nomination was still in the vetting stage.
"We will see how that turns out,” Kudlow said. “I don’t want to prejudge it one way or the other.”
According to Scott Brown, a policy analyst at Raymond James, the qualified praise from the president indicates that he might soon change his mind.
"This is a less enthusiastic defense of a potential nominee than we would expect, and signals that the nomination may be in jeopardy," Brown said Thursday in a note to clients.
- Trump’s pick of former pizza-chain CEO Herman Cain for the Federal Reserve already looks like it could crash and burn
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