President Trump’s initial nominee for the position of Labor Secretary, Andy Puzder, is blaming the “the left” and “false” news stories for the controversy that led him to end his own nomination.
In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, the CEO of CKE restaurants accused Democrats of engaging in a concerted effort to thwart his prospects of running the Labor Department and to ultimately keep Trump from succeeding in office.
“The left is trying to sink as many of the President’s nominees as possible,” he said. “So in that sense, it really wouldn’t have mattered what I believed or who I was or what the process was. They were going to campaign against me as a means of hurting the President.”
Puzder accused Democrats of being worried that the policies he would have pushed through if he were confirmed would have been successful and made their political arguments moot.
“I don’t believe their concern was that I would be bad for workers,” Puzder said. “I think their concern was that I would pursue policies they opposed, and that workers would benefit. So the implications of that for the left would really have been devastating.”
Puzder’s nomination was swollen with controversy from the start. Decades-old allegations of spousal abuse were resurfaced, including an old episode of Oprah Winfrey’s talk show that his ex-wife appeared on in disguise. Puzder’s ex-wife has since denied that the CEO was ever abusive.
The Labor nominee also faced criticism after reports revealed he had employed an undocumented immigrant that he did not pay back taxes on until after he was nominated for the position. Concerns about labor violations at franchise restaurants, Puzder’s stance on the minimum wage, and previous statements on immigration reform also complicated his nomination.