In his first interview since withdrawing himself from consideration as Labor Secretary under President Trump, Andrew Puzder told Neil Cavuto during an interview on the Fox Business Network that he was â€œdisappointedâ€ he wasnâ€™t able to serve in the presidentâ€™s cabinet.
The CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Hardeeâ€™s and Carlâ€™s Jr., faced scrutiny from both sides of the aisle after abuse allegations involving his ex-wife surfaced, his controversial business background raised concerns, as well as his admission to hiring an undocumented immigrant to work as a housekeeper.
Puzder claimed the allegations, later recanted, from his ex-wife â€œwerenâ€™t true,â€ but rather they have a â€œvery amicable relationship,â€ and instead cites the delays in his hearing process as the real reason for why he was forced to remove himself from consideration.
â€œIt was a delay that was very unfortunate. I think I wouldâ€™ve been confirmed had the hearing gone as originally scheduled,â€ said Puzder. â€œBut I didnâ€™t want to tilt at windmills. Once you had three senators who wouldnâ€™t support you in the Republican Party, you were done.â€
Throughout the whole process, Puzder said both the president and vice president were â€œ100 percentâ€ behind him on whether he decided to move forward with the hearings or not.
The restaurant CEO also placed a big portion of the blame on Democrats for not wanting a â€œsuccessful businessmanâ€ to run the Department of Labor, and that they would do â€œanything they possibly could to keep me out of that office.â€
â€œItâ€™s not that theyâ€™re concerned that I wouldâ€™ve been a bad secretary of labor, itâ€™s not that theyâ€™re concerned that President Trump wonâ€™t succeed -- theyâ€™re concerned we will succeed,â€ said Puzder. â€œBecause if we succeed with conservative economic principles, if we cut taxes like Reagan did, if we reduce regulations like Reagan did, and we have a similar result where employment goes up, economic growth goes back 3.5 to 4 percent -- well, that really puts the lie to what the left has been telling working and middle class Americans for the past 8 years.â€
Puzder also faced an uphill battle with labor unions regarding his stance on whether to increase the minimum wage, and allegedly advocated for the increase of automation â€“ technology both McDonaldâ€™s and Wendyâ€™s have invested in, but the CKE fast food chains have not.
â€œI was against increasing it to the point where it kills jobs for working class Americans,â€ said Puzder.
He went on to add, â€œI was just trying to explain to people what the risks of taking the minimum wage too high [are].â€
Despite his rocky first venture into politics, Puzder said that this is just a â€œsetback,â€ and that heâ€™s â€œnot giving upâ€ when it comes to serving his civic duty in government.