FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Board building on Constitution Avenue is pictured in Washington, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s pick to fill a vacant seat at the Federal Reserve said on Sunday a smear campaign was being waged against him, after past writings and comments about women sparked renewed criticism by Democratic lawmakers.
Moore, during an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” said there were a handful of reporters dedicated to digging up negative information on his personal life and past statements.
Trump has not formally nominated Moore to be a Fed governor, which would give him a role in setting interest rates for the world’s biggest economy.
Republicans have a 53-47 majority in the Senate, giving them the final say on whether Moore’s promised nomination is confirmed. Democratic Senators have criticized Moore for his policy positions, including his longtime support of tax cuts to stimulate the economy, as well as his comments about women.
“If I become a liability to any of these senators, I would withdraw,” Moore told ABC. “I don’t think it’s going to come to that. I think most fair minded people think this has been kind of a sleaze campaign against me.
“I just think the perception is very different from the reality in terms of my attitude toward women.”
Moore said he had apologized for writing a column 18 years ago in which he jokingly called women’s participation in basketball “a travesty,” adding he would never write such a “politically incorrect column” today.
Moore also has come under fire for 2014 comments referring to cities in the U.S. Midwest, such as Cincinnati, the “armpits of America.”
Some economists and Democratic lawmakers have questioned Moore’s competence, citing his support for tying policy decisions to commodity prices and his fluctuating views on rates.
Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Bill Trott