CBS and Fox News are both reporting that Puzder is expected to withdraw his nomination to be labor secretary. Although it got less attention, the backlash to Puzder’s nomination was as strong as the objections to the nominations of Jeff Sessions or Betsy DeVos. Puzder loves robot workers, hates living wages and safety regulations, and is too pro-immigration for the National Review.
But in the end, Puzder was sunk by good old-fashioned political baggage. He employed an undocumented immigrant as a nanny, and was accused by his ex-wife of abuse on Oprah in the 1980s. If early reports are to be believed, it was the Oprah video, which was circulating on the Hill earlier this week, that ultimately did him in:
Puzder’s withdrawal is certainly a victory for Democrats, who have so far been unable to stop any of Trump’s appointees. But it may also suggest a growing wariness of Trump’s already scandal-plagued administration among Republicans. For the first month of Trump’s presidency, they abandoned the traditional function of the confirmation process, which is to vet nominees and to take conflicts of interest seriously. Puzder’s case is a “better late than never” situation, but it’s notable nevertheless.
For Trump, it’s another L in a week that’s been full of them. Trump has lost Michael Flynn and Puzder in a 48-hour period, during which it also became clear that his campaign was in contact with Russian intelligence and his senior adviser was cited for ethics violations. And it’s only Wednesday.