U.S. President Donald Trump’s pick to fill a vacant seat at the Federal Reserve said on Sunday a smear campaign was being waged against him, after past writings and comments about women sparked renewed criticism by Democratic lawmakers.
Stephen Moore, during an interview on ABC’s This Week, said there were a handful of reporters dedicated to digging up negative information on his personal life and past statements.
And by the way, George, let me back up for a minute because probably this is the first time you’ve ever had a Federal Reserve board nominee on your show over all the years. And, you know, the president asked it me to do this. It’s been a little over a month. And just so people understand the history here. For the first week a lot of economists on the left and people in the media started attacking some of my economic ideas and that got them nowhere. I stand by, you know, what I’ve said and my credentials on the economy. And The Washington Post ran a piece, you know, several weeks ago saying you know, we can’t beat Steve Moore on his economic ideas, he has the votes in the Senate, I’ve known these senators for a long time.
And what happened, George, was this kind of smear campaign, this character assassination and it began two or three weeks ago. I mean, you’re not going to believe this, George, but the media unsealed my divorce from 10 years ago and started reporting details of my divorce which was against the wishes, by the way, of myself and my ex-wife who have a very good solid relationship with today. And that – I think most fair-minded people say – what does a divorce settlement have to do with, you know, interest rates and — and my economic credentials. And then what’s happened is there’s five or six full-time reporters investigating every area of my life.
These articles that you’re talking about were 17, 18 years ago. Frankly, I didn’t even remember writing some of these they were so long ago. Now you asked me the question of whether I’m apologetic about those — some of those columns. They were humor columns but some weren’t funny and so I am apologetic. I’m embarrassed by some of those things that I wrote. But I do think we should get back to the issue of whether I’m qualified to be on the Federal Reserve board, whether I have the, you know, economic expertise and I think there’s an area where I’ll stand by my record and I’ll debate anybody on economics and let’s make this about the economy.
Trump has not formally nominated Moore to be a Fed governor, which would give him a role in setting interest rates for the world’s biggest economy.
Republicans have a 53-47 majority in the Senate, giving them the final say on whether Moore’s promised nomination is confirmed.
Democratic Senators have criticized Moore for his policy positions, including his longtime support of tax cuts to stimulate the economy, as well as his comments about women.
“If I become a liability to any of these senators, I would withdraw,” Moore told ABC. “I don’t think it’s going to come to that. I think most fair minded people think this has been kind of a sleaze campaign against me. I just think the perception is very different from the reality in terms of my attitude towards women.”
Moore said he had apologized for writing a column 18 years ago in which he jokingly called women’s participation in basketball “a travesty,” adding he would never write such a “politically incorrect column” today.
Moore also has come under fire for 2014 comments referring to cities in the U.S. Midwest, such as Cincinnati, the “armpits of America.”
Some economists and Democratic lawmakers have questioned Moore’s competence, citing his support for tying policy decisions to commodity prices and his fluctuating views on rates.