The swift opposition to Cain underscores the concerns the Senate has about the qualifications of Trump’s picks for the central bank. Wall Street has raised fears that both Cain and conservative economist Stephen Moore, a former Trump campaign advisor, would be too political to serve on the Fed board.
Cain also faces allegations of sexual misconduct that surfaced during the 2012 campaign. He has previously denied the accusations.
The backlash to Cain’s nomination has partly drowned out the concerns about Moore’s qualifications. It is unclear how many GOP senators will vote against Trump’s other Fed choice. Romney, for one, is still reviewing Moore’s qualifications, according to his office.
Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also appeared less than enthusiastic about Cain’s prospective nomination on Wednesday. Asked whether the ex-presidential candidate would proceed with the nomination, Trump said, “Herman will make that determination.”
“As to how he’s doing in the process, that I don’t know,” the president told reporters on the White House lawn before he left for Texas. “Herman’s a great guy and I hope he does well.”
Mnuchin also told CNBC that Trump has “confidence in” both Fed board choices and that “they will go through the normal Senate confirmation process.”
A spokeswoman for Cain did not immediately respond to a request to comment.