Cain ‘very committed’ to Fed bid despite opposition

Herman Cain, who President Trump floated for a position on the Federal Reserve Board, said Wednesday he will continue to seek a spot at the central bank despite almost insurmountable Republican opposition.

Cain, channeling Tom Petty, told The Wall Street Journal in a Wednesday interview that he won’t back down and will not withdraw from consideration for a nomination to the board even after GOP senators all but doomed his appointment.

The 2012 Republican presidential candidate told the Journal he’s “very committed” to seeing the vetting process through after Trump announced earlier this month he intended to nominate Cain to the Fed if he passed a background check.

“The president asked me one simple question,” Cain told the Journal. “He said, ‘Would you consider doing this if you make it through the process?’ I said ‘yes.’ Didn’t hesitate.” Sylvan Lane has more here.

How we got here:

  • Four of the Senate’s 53 Republicans announced last week that they would refuse to vote for Cain, a 2012 GOP presidential candidate, if he was formally nominated by Trump.
  • If nominated, Cain would need the unlikely support of at least one Senate Democrat to be confirmed if all other Republicans voted for his nomination. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who has bucked his party to support other Trump appointees, also said last week he wouldn’t vote for Cain.
  • Larry Kudlow, director of the White House National Economic Council, said Tuesday that the administration had been interviewing potential candidates to replace Cain and Stephen Moore, whom Trump also floated for a Fed seat.
  • “I think at the end of the day, it will probably be up to Herman Cain to stay in that process or not,” Kudlow said. “As far as we’re concerned, he’s still in that process and it’s proceeding in an orderly way.”

 But Cain declined to take the out. Cain told the Journal that “What Kudlow was doing was giving me an out, and I appreciate that, but I don’t want an out.”

“You know that the president is a fighter, and Kudlow is a fighter. They might be getting a lot of blowback from some folks, I don’t know. But I don’t think they’re getting uncomfortable with it,” Cain added.

The bottom line: Cain is right that Trump has gravitated toward folks that put up a fight and try to push through obstacles to their confirmation. The president reportedly grew fonder of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after his aggressive response to the sexual assault allegations made against him.

But four GOP senators have already opposed Cain before he was even formally nominated, and there are several more who seem like they would vote against him too. Kavanaugh never saw that level of opposition from Republicans. For Cain, the math just doesn’t work in his favor.

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