WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump confirmed Thursday he’s recommended former presidential candidate and ex-WSB Radio talk show host Herman Cain for a position on the Federal Reserve board.
Cain, 73, previously served as chairman of the Kansas City branch of the Federal Reserve before returning to Georgia to attempt a political career that included an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate in 2004.
The Stockbridge businessman was briefly considered a GOP front-runner during the 2012 presidential race before his campaign was rocked by claims of sexual misconduct. Cain dismissed the allegations that he harassed several women while heading the National Restaurant Association and carried on a 13-year extramarital affair with a metro Atlanta woman as “false and unproven,” even as he halted his White House bid because of them in December 2011.
Those issues are likely to reemerge during his Senate confirmation hearing in the prism of the #MeToo movement.
Cain’s appointment to the independent board has been rumored for months. Trump confirmed the news a few hours after Axios first reported it earlier Thursday and said Cain is currently going through a background check ahead of his formal nomination.
"I've recommended Herman Cain. A terrific man, a terrific person. He's a friend of mine," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. "I've told my folks that that's the man and he's doing some pre-checking now and I would imagine he'd be in great shape."
Members of the Fed’s seven-person board of governors serve for 14-year terms and help oversee the nation’s monetary policy.
Cain has at least one prominent Georgia supporter: David Perdue. The first-term Republican and Senate Banking Committee member told the Washington Post that Cain would be a “great addition” to the Fed board.
“He's a business guy, he's got a great background for it,” said Perdue, whose inaugural Senate bid was boosted by Cain back in 2014. “I know him personally, I think personally he'd be a great addition."
The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO could also face some resistance within the Senate GOP. Earlier Thursday, Mitt Romney brushed off the possibility that Trump would tap Cain for the position.
“I doubt that will be a nomination. But if it were a nomination, you can bet (what) the interest rates he would be pushing for,” said Romney, who ultimately beat out Cain and others for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012. He told Politico: “If Herman Cain were on the Fed, you’d know the interest rate would soon be 9-9-9.”
The Morehouse College alum’s 9-9-9 tax proposal helped briefly vault him to the top of the GOP presidential pack in 2011. The plan calls for a flat 9 percent income tax, business tax and national sales tax, with some exemptions for the poor and businesses that operate in low-income areas. He’s also pushed for a return to the gold standard.
Cain will become the second pending Trump nominee for the Fed board. The president’s other pick, Stephen Moore, has weathered a stream of rocky headlines about owing back taxes and alimony payments, as well as his qualifications for the position.
Both Cain and Moore are deeply conservative and have been critical of some of the central bank’s policies.
Trump has recently ratcheted up criticism of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for steadily hiking interest rates last year.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB are both owned by Cox Media Group. Cain ended his radio program on News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB last summer and went on to co-found a pro-Trump super PAC.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Read more: 5 things to know about Herman Cain