Andy Puzder Trump
Donald Trump meets with Andy Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants, in November. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster


President Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of labor, Andrew Puzder, dropped out of the running for the position on Wednesday, a day before his confirmation hearing.

“I am honored to have been considered by President Donald Trump to lead the Department of Labor,” Puzder said in an emailed statement. “While I won’t be serving in the administration, I fully support the president and his highly qualified team.”

Earlier Wednesday, CNN reported that top Senate Republicans encouraged the White House to withdraw Puzder’s nomination because of concerns that the fast-food CEO would not receive the necessary number of votes to be confirmed. A senior GOP source told CNN that at least four and possibly up to 12 Republican senators planned to vote against Puzder.

Puzder, who was CEO of CKE Restaurants — the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s — is a vocal opponent of raising the minimum wage and of the Affordable Care Act. He says the policies result in lower employment rates.

He has faced criticism from the left for his past opposition to overtime pay, as well as for Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s history of so-called wage theft, or underpaying workers — a common issue in the fast-food industry.

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“Puzder had no business running the Labor Department — an agency that uncovered wage theft at a number of Puzder’s own restaurants — and it remains baffling that President Trump even nominated him in the first place,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in an emailed statement in response to news of Puzder’s withdrawal.

On the right, Puzder has faced criticism for his pro-immigration stance. In December, Puzder said that to “hire American and buy American is our policy,” but in 2015, the fast-food CEO criticized Republican presidential candidates for their anti-immigration policies.

Puzder’s personal life has also raised questions. Politico obtained a tape of Puzder’s ex-wife, Lisa Fierstein, on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” saying he had “vowed revenge” on her when she said publicly that he had abused her. Fierstein later retracted her allegations of domestic abuse.

Puzder has also admitted to employing an undocumented immigrant as a housekeeper, despite the Trump administration’s condemnation of illegal immigration.



As reported by Business Insider