The Trump administration is having a difficult week. First came the resignation of National Security Advisor Mike Flynn. Now, the administration has reportedly lost another of their nominees, Andy Puzder. Puzder had been Trump’s pick to head the department of labor.
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While nothing has been made official yet, the White House got confirmation on Wednesday that there were not enough votes to secure Puzder’s nomination. Reports now indicate that his nomination will be pulled.
This would make Puzder the first nominee to falter in the nomination process. The nominations of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions both came close.
Yet Puzder’s support had eroded within his own Republican base. Puzder needed support from 50 of the 52 Republicans in the Senate. Yet seven senators had decided that they wouldn’t support his nomination.
Puzder’s own business history is part of what led to this lack of support. He made his fortune in fast food, and was the chief executive of CKE Restaurants. The corporation own Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.
BREAKING: In statement, Andrew Puzder says he's withdrawing his nomination for labor secretary.
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) February 15, 2017
There are many who cite a long litany of questionable labor practices Puzder bore responsibility for during his time in the fast food industry.
“We urge President Trump to listen to the American people, remain mindful of the promises he made to working families during the campaign and in his inaugural address, and nominate a candidate for secretary of labor who will always put workers first and foremost,” Christine Owens, the executive director of the nonprofit National Employment Law Project, wrote in a statement. “Any less, and the American people will once again say NO to a secretary who doesn’t speak for America’s workers.”
As if that lack of support wasn’t already damning (and it was not), Puzder had even more problems arise when rumors of his personal troubles surfaced.
Politico ran a clip from a 1990 “Oprah Winfrey Show” episode Thursday that showed Puzder’s ex-wife talking about their divorce. She detailed physical and emotional abuse.
On the show, she talked openly about how her husband had “vowed revenge.” Those statements were later walked back when she said the accusations were made due to “bad legal advice”.
There was no immediate comment from the administration on possible replacements.