Trump's Labor pick Andrew Puzder is withdrawing his nomination

Alicia WestFeb 16, 2017

Fast food executive Andrew F. Puzder on Wednesday withdrew his candidacy to become President Donald Trump's labor secretary.

Puzder, who is now the chief executive of CKE restaurants, which includes such chains as Carl's Jr. and Hardees, has recently come under fire for comments his ex-wife made on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1990 in which she alleged her then-husband Puzder had abused her.

In addition to presumably picking up no Democratic votes, a report in the Washington Post today indicated that as many as 12 Republican senators were planning on voting against Puzder's confirmation if his nomination to come to a floor vote.

"After careful consideration and discussions with my family, I am withdrawing my nomination for Secretary of Labor", he wrote.

He is the first of President Donald Trump's nominees to not make it through the confirmation process. After seeing his controversial travel ban blocked by federal courts, Trump lost one of his early key supporters with the forced resignation Monday night of national security advisor Michael Flynn over Flynn's false statements about his December contacts with a Russian diplomat.

"'I will see you in the gutter", Fierstein claimed he told her.

But he also said Trump's proposals to build a border wall, stiffen enforcement and defund cities that provide sanctuary to undocumented immigrants were reasonable.

Up to a dozen Republican senators were uncertain whether they could back the fast-food executive. "Puzder should never have even been nominated".

Under his leadership, CKE Restaurants ran highly sexualized advertising campaigns that were denounced as sexist and demeaning. Susan Collins - both of whom sit on the committee that had jurisdiction for Puzder's nomination - were top targets for Democrats, especially since they both also voted against Betsy DeVos, now the education secretary. AFSCME President Lee Saunders said Puzder had "nothing but contempt for everything the Labor Department stands for". According to a statement obtained by The New York Times, Puzder said he was "unaware" of her status and "immediately ended her employment and offered her assistance in getting legal status".

Pudzer will need 50 votes to pass, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote. It would only take three Republicans to join all 48 Democrats in torpedoing his nomination.

Puzder's support for immigration reform, too, had been drawing heat from conservatives.

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