Trump To Pick Herman Cain, Former GOP Presidential Candidate, For Federal Reserve Board

Herman Cain at a film premiere.
Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images

Bloomberg is reporting that President Donald Trump will select former Republican presidential candidate and pizza company executive Herman Cain to join the Federal Reserve Board. The outlet is reporting that three people have said that Trump is set to make the announcement, but that they would prefer to remain off the record as it isn’t official yet. Cain would be selected to take one of the two seats on the board that are currently unoccupied. Trump is widely expected to appoint Stephen Moore, a longtime Trump supporter and fellow at the Heritage Foundation, to the other vacant seat.

Cain is the former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza from Georgia who ran for president in 2012. Prior to that, he served as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Kansas City, Omaha Branch from 1989 to 1991. Perhaps more importantly, he is seen as another loyalist to Trump, one who would be unlikely to raise his ire, as has occurred with Trump’s own appointment to the chair the Federal Reserve Board, Jerome Powell. In recent months when Powell has taken the step of raising interest rates, Trump has repeatedly berated him via Twitter and even mused publicly about firing him.

Cain’s run for the nomination in 2012 ended abruptly when allegations he was a serial sexual harasser during his time as head of the National Restaurant Association came out. In addition, a woman claimed she had a 13-year extramarital affair with him.

Herman Cain on stage.
  Rick Diamond / Getty Images

Since his run for the 2012 nomination, Cain has remained politically active, hosting a radio show and working as a tea party activist. In September, he helped to found a Trump-aligned political action committee, the America Fighting Back PAC. The PAC features a photo of Trump on its website and is emblazoned with the phrase, “We must protect Donald Trump and his agenda from impeachment.” However, as recently as 2017 he called for a hike in interest rates, in direct contradiction to President Trump’s stated position.

Cain’s other well-known political position touches on economic policy, and that’s his call for the U.S. to return to the gold standard.

The president received a great deal of criticism over the announcement that Moore would be appointed, with notable voices calling for the Senate to deny him confirmation. Those voices included Harvard professor Greg Mankiw, former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush, who said that Moore doesn’t have the “intellectual gravitas” to help run the Fed, as reported earlier by Bloomberg. Cain is widely seen as an attempt by the administration to add some bona fides and experience to his panel of nominees for the board.