Fourth GOP senator comes out against Trump Fed pick Cain

A fourth Republican senator (looking for a deal) announced Thursday that he would oppose Herman Cain if President Trump nominated him to the Federal Reserve Board, all but dooming his potential appointment.

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), a close Trump ally, told reporters that “if I had to vote right now, there’s no way I could vote for” Cain. The president had floated the businessman for the Fed board last week.

Cramer’s opposition makes him the fourth Republican to denounce Cain’s potential nomination, effectively ending Cain’s chance at confirmation. GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Cory Gardner (Colo.) and Mitt Romney (Utah) all came out against Cain on Wednesday.

With four of the 53 Senate Republicans opposed to Cain, he would not reach the necessary 51 votes for confirmation without getting support from Democrats, which is unlikely. I’ve got more on how we got here.

  • Cramer, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, cited the four allegations of sexual harassment made against Cain that helped derail his 2012 Republican presidential campaign.
  • “It’s hard for me to get over the harassment allegations from the past,” Cramer said. “His showmanship doesn’t bother me. His business experience, I think, is great. Simplifying the tax code is fine by me. But character still does matter.”

Four women who worked for Cain at the National Restaurant Association, a Washington trade group he led from 1996 to 1998, accused him of sexual harassment. Cain has denied all of the allegations but reached financial settlements with two of his accusers.

Cramer’s revelation came just hours after President Trump’s top economic adviser said that the White House was supporting Cain “at the moment.”

Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council had said earlier Thursday during The Hill’s Newsmaker Series that the president continued to support Cain despite the opposition from GOP senators the previous day.

“As the president said yesterday, he continues to support [Cain] and we’ll see how that turns out,” Kudlow said. “He’s in the process; we’ll let him go through it, the president insists on that.”

What comes next: It’s clear at this point that Cain isn’t able to be confirmed. One of Trump’s staunchest allies is opposed to him, and other senators further from Trump have expressed similar concerns about Cain’s nomination. The spotlight will now turn to Stephen Moore, the president’s other controversial Fed suggestion.

Recapping the week in Herman Cain news:

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