The GOP knows Trump's nomination of Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve Board is a mistake and an embarrassment.
Republican senators are increasingly worried about Trump's decision to name failed Republican presidential candidate and sexual predator Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve Board, and now Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is working behind the scenes to try to kill the nomination.
CNN reports that on Tuesday, McConnell advised his fellow Republicans at their regular lunch to call the White House to try to convince Trump not to go forward with Cain's nomination, which has yet to be officially submitted.
Meanwhile, publicly, McConnell is trying to stay neutral.
"Well, we are going to look at whoever the President sends up," McConnell said in a news conference. "It's his choice to decide, and once he makes a nomination, we'll take a look at it."
But more and more other Republican senators are expressing their concerns about Cain, whether he could even pass a background check, and that his nomination could turn into an ugly fight in the Senate.
John Cornyn (R-TX) wishes that Trump would have checked in with the Senate before nominating Cain to the Federal Reserve Board.
According to Cornyn, it isn't "a given that everybody whose name gets sort of floated without vetting and without consultation can be confirmed." If Trump would just check in first, said Cornyn, they could avoid "embarrassment for the nominees or for the President or for senators." This is an embarrassing nomination indeed.
This would sound like a much tougher stance save for the fact that Cornyn also said that he thinks the Senate will confirm Cain. Cornyn is a member of the GOP leadership team in the Senate and surely holds sway with his colleagues. There's no reason he couldn't help thwart Cain's confirmation. Instead, he'll likely express unhappiness about the choice but fall in line to vote for Trump's pick regardless.
Cornyn isn't the only Senate Republican who is tepid about Cain. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is outright dismayed. Richard Shelby (R-AL) is a member of the Banking Committee — the committee that will hold hearings on Cain's nomination. His take on Cain is that "[his] nomination if it comes around, will be interesting to watch." Hardly a ringing endorsement.
On Wednesday, Trump told reporters that he wants Cain for the job because Cain, who founded a pro-Trump organization, likes Trump.
"Herman is a wonderful man," Trump said. "He's been a supporter of mine for a long time. He actually ran a very good campaign."
Cain is, by any metric, spectacularly unqualified. In addition to the scandals that emerged during the 2012 presidential primary, in which several women said he had sexually harassed them and paid substantial settlements to them, his past monetary experience consists of things like shilling for worthless penny stocks and dubious erectile dysfunction cures and a tax plan so poorly conceived that Bruce Bartlett, a Treasury Department official under George H.W. Bush, called it "a distributional monstrosity."
In any other administration, it would be inconceivable that Cain would receive the nod to play a critical role in overseeing the country's monetary policy. With Trump, though, it's business as usual.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.