Stephen Moore Vows to Survive ‘Smear Campaign’ in Consideration for Fed
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s pick for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board said while he would withdraw from consideration if he becomes a liability from what he called a “smear campaign,” he doesn’t think it will come to that.
“I’m going to make it through this process,” Stephen Moore, a former Trump campaign adviser and Heritage Foundation fellow, said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
Last month, Trump said he planned to nominate Moore to one of two open seats on the Federal Reserve Board. Moore has come under fire for past writings and comments criticizing cities and states in the Midwest and ridiculing women. He has said columns on women, written years ago, were “a spoof.” On Sunday, Moore said Ohio is no longer the “armpit of America,” as he asserted in 2014.
Moore said Sunday that while he’s embarrassed by some of the things he wrote in the past, he’s facing a “smear campaign” that includes having his divorce papers from a decade ago unsealed. The focus should be on his economic views and the role he played in advising Trump on policies that have produced strong growth, he said.
One of the strongest cases for why should be on the Fed Board is his criticism last December of the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates, which he said was “economic malpractice.”
“There’s an example of where I was quite right and most of the economists over at the Fed were wrong,’’ Moore said. He added that the U.S. has a “sizzling” economy now, and can grow at 4 percent with “no inflation on high employment.”
Moore has yet to be formally nominated for the board and is still going through a background check. But Larry Kudlow, Trump’s chief economic adviser, has said that if Moore “gets through” an FBI background check, “we’ll nominate him.”
Scrutiny of Moore has increased recently, after Trump’s other pick, former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, withdrew earlier this month from consideration.
Trump’s selection of Moore has drawn criticism from some as a move motivated more by politics than sound economics. The Federal Reserve, which was designed by Congress to be independent from short-term political pressure, has been one of Trump’s targets as president. He has repeatedly commented on monetary policy decisions in various interviews and on social media.
Moore said he thinks Republican senators who would have to confirm him respect his economic expertise and “if I become a liability to any of these senators, I would withdraw. I don’t think it’s going to come to that.’’
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