At least four Republican senators said they won’t support Herman Cain, President Trump’s latest choice for the Federal Reserve board, jeopardizing the former GOP presidential candidate’s chances before he’s even been formally nominated.
Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., LIsa Murkowski, R. Ak., and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., have all said they are opposed to the prospective nomination of Cain.
With 53 Republicans in the Senate, losing four Republicans makes it unlikely Cain could be confirmed.
“I don’t think Herman Cain would be confirmed by the Senate, and I think the president would be wise to nominate someone who is less partisan and more experienced in the world of economics,” said Utah Senator Mitt Romney, the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee, according to Bloomberg. “I would anticipate voting no if he were nominated.”
The White House said it still stands behind Cain.
Last week, Trump confirmed that he’s recommending Cain to the Fed’s board but has not sent formal paperwork yet. Cain previously served multiple positions within the Kansas City Federal Reserve between 1989 and 1996.
But nominating Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, to the board also raises the possibility of Capitol Hill testimonies regarding sexual harassment allegations against Cain, which ultimately derailed his 2011 bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Cain has denied the claims.
Trump told reporters on Wednesday that “Herman will make that determination” about whether his nomination is “safe” or not.
“I like Herman Cain,” the president said. “Herman is wonderful man. He’s been a supporter of mine for a long time.”
Cain addressed concerns about the feasibility of his nomination to the seven-member board in a video posted to Facebook on Friday evening, cautioning about what he believed would be a lengthy and “cumbersome” vetting process.
“They have to collect an inordinate amount of information on you, your background, your family, your friends, your animals, your pets, for the last 50 years,” he said in the video.
Cain also railed against the sexual harassment accusations, which he lambasted as a political hit-job.
“You better believe that the people who hate me -- the people who do not like conservatives and Republicans -- are already digging up all the negative stuff that’s in storage from eight years ago,” he said. “So be it. Let them go back and dig up eight year old stuff. I will be able to explain it this time, where they wouldn’t let me explain it last time because they were too busy believing the accusers. I’m not mad though. I’m just not going to let the accusers run my life or determine my career.”