President Donald Trump said he won't nominate Herman Cain for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board after opposition from his own Republican party appeared to sink the former pizza company executive's hopes for Senate confirmation.
"My friend Herman Cain, a truly wonderful man, has asked me not to nominate him for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board," the president said in a tweet on Monday. "I will respect his wishes."
Mr. Cain, 73, is bowing out after a path to Senate confirmation appeared blocked. A fourth Senate Republican said earlier this month he'd oppose Mr. Cain, all but killing any chances that he'd receive Senate approval if Democrats stayed united in opposition.
The Trump loyalist, whose bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination ended amid accusations of sexual harassment and infidelity, had said as recently as Thursday that he was not going to withdraw. Mr. Cain's comment, in an interview with Fox News, was made after an Atlanta woman came forward again with allegations of an extramarital affair that ended his White House run.
The president's desire to place Mr. Cain and fellow supporter Stephen Moore on the Fed board had sparked concern over the politicization of the U.S. central bank. The Fed answers to Congress and was designed to have independent control over monetary policy, insulating interest rates from short-term political considerations that might do long-term economic harm.
Mr. Trump has shown no such restraint, repeatedly attacking Fed Chairman Jerome Powell for raising rates last year and discussing firing him in December as U.S. stocks tumbled. Since then, policymakers have become very cautious as U.S. economic growth slackened amid headwinds from abroad and they didn't project any increases this year in their most recent forecasts.
With Democrats opposed to Mr. Cain and Republicans controlling 53 seats in the 100-seat chamber, opposition from a fourth Republican senator would have sunk his chances.