Last Thursday, former Trump campaign adviser Stephen Moore spent the morning telling reporters that his contested nomination for the Federal Reserve Board would not be withdrawn, claiming the White House was “all in.” By lunchtime, Moore was all out.
Moore has spent a few weeks defending a library’s worth of his past gaffes and bigoted statements in pursuit of the Fed nomination. Now the second half of that press tour has begun, in which the supply-sider is lambasting the left for drawing attention to his life’s work. On the “America First” radio show, hosted by former White House deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka, Moore blamed “liberals” for the “campaign” that led to his canceled nomination.
“Why did they run this campaign against me? Because they were terrified of me,” Moore said. “We always have this debate: Are liberals just stupid, or are they evil?” he asked. “I don’t know — after this, I think they’re stupid and evil.”
It’s an interesting thought, considering that many of Moore’s notable quotes could conceivably fall somewhere along that same spectrum — with the bulk leaning toward stupid. A brief survey: Moore said at the 2016 Republican National Convention that he’d “get rid of a lot of these child-labor laws. I want people starting to work at 11, 12.” In an appearance on CNN in 2017, Moore said that Robert E. Lee “hated slavery” and that the “Civil War was about the South having its own rights.” Moore also made a joke about how Trump’s first act as president would be to “kick a black family out of public housing.” And in one of the most publicized quotes uncovered in the nomination process, Moore said in the early 2000s that “no women” should be involved in men’s sports unless they’re hot.
Pointing the blame at liberals for souring his nomination ignores the consensus of economists who viewed the attempted appointment as a political stunt, including the choice assessment from Harvard economics professor Greg Mankiw, who said Moore “does not have the intellectual gravitas” for the Fed board. But ultimately it was Senate Republicans — who made it obvious that Moore would not muster the votes to pass — who voided his nomination.