Stephen Moore previously attacked the GOP senators he now needs for his Fed bid

Stephen Moore previously attacked the GOP senators he now needs for his Fed bid

Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI



Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

Stephen Moore, President Donald Trump’s pick for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, spent years attacking Republicans for purportedly being insufficiently Republican. Moore now needs the support of some of those same Republicans in the Senate if his bid is going to succeed.

Moore is a longtime Republican commentator and Trump economic adviser with problematic views on women and economics. Moore's bid is reportedly in trouble because of a host of issues, including his past commentary. 

He has also worked with several right-wing organizations, including co-founding the Club for Growth in 1999. The group was started to “help elect candidates who support the Reagan vision of limited government and lower taxes” and oppose Republicans who “vote like Democrats.” Club for Growth booted Moore in late 2004, and it eventually paid the Federal Election Commission a $350,000 penalty “for its failures to register as a political committee during each of the national elections during Mr. Moore’s tenure as president,” as The Wall Street Journal noted.

During his career as a pundit, Moore has frequently attacked Republicans for supposedly being insufficiently loyal to the party. He said Utah’s Mitt Romney is a “traitor” who has “no voice left in the Republican Party” because of his past criticism of Trump. He attacked Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski for purportedly supporting “anti-growth” policies as a politician. He labeled Maine’s Susan Collins a “dinosaur” who was waging a “last stand at the Alamo” over a tax bill. He called West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito a “Republican In Name Only” for her vote on a Department of Labor bill that wasn’t supported by then-President George W. Bush. And he declined to support “career politician” Johnny Isakson in a Republican primary in Georgia because of his “worse-than-average” voting record.  

Mitt Romney (Utah)

During a December 6, 2016, appearance on the conservative radio program Rose Unplugged, Moore criticized Romney, who at the time was in consideration for secretary of state:

STEPHEN MOORE: I’m a “never Romney” guy. Never Romney. Never, never, never Romney. Mitt Romney cannot be the secretary of state, his behavior was despicable throughout this campaign. And look, if he had an ounce of dignity, if he really believes the things that he said about Donald Trump. This man has no dignity. Why would he even entertain the offer of -- you know, come on -- you know, you’re bigger than that. You bet on the wrong horse and you go -- you ride off in the sunshine because nobody really cares about you anymore. You have no constituency; you have no voice left in the Republican Party. Good riddance. I feel strongly about this. I really do. I think it would be a betrayal of people like you and me if he picked somebody like -- turncoat like Mitt Romney.

Moore himself was a Trump critic before joining his campaign.

During a November 28, 2016, interview with WLS-AM’s Big John and Ramblin' Ray, Moore said: “I cannot stand the idea of Mitt Romney being in this Cabinet.” He added that Romney was a “traitor.”

Susan Collins (Maine)

CBS News reported in a June 2004 article that Moore referred to Susan Collins, among others, as a “dinosaur” while talking about the political debate over Bush’s tax plan:

The Republican Party has changed. It was once dominated by a strict adherence to cutting revenues only if spending was decreased proportionally. Since President Ronald Reagan, however, it has become a party that believes tax cuts benefit the economy even at the cost of a ballooning deficit.

President Bush's dedication to cutting taxes is so fervent, that even with the drastic spending increases of wartime he refused to compromise in the slightest on tax cuts.

"These four Republicans are the last dying gasp of dinosaur northeastern Republicans," Moore says. "This is their last stand at the Alamo."

Besides Chafee, the other three Republican senators opposed to the Bush tax cuts are Maine's Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe, and John McCain of Arizona.

Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)

A June 11, 2004, article in the Anchorage Daily News reported that Moore said he liked then-Republican Senate primary candidate Mike Miller better than Murkowski because she voted for “a bill that expanded the Medicare program, which he thinks is too expensive, and believes she supported ‘anti-growth" policies when she was in the Alaska Legislature.” (Miller lost the primary to Murkowski.)

Stephen Moore, president of Club for Growth, said he likes Miller's politics but can't invest in him if his campaign is "hopeless."

"We basically agreed that he's certainly better than Lisa Murkowski," Moore said. Moore doesn't like her vote for a bill that expanded the Medicare program, which he thinks is too expensive, and believes she supported "anti-growth" policies when she was in the Alaska Legislature.

"Our reservation is whether or not (Miller) has any chance of beating her, the viability issue," Moore said. "We said we'd wait until we saw some polling."

So far, Alaska public-opinion surveys show Murkowski has an enormous lead over Miller.

Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia)

Moore’s Club for Growth put then-West Virginia Rep. Capito’s name in its “Republicans In Name Only” list after she and other Republicans voted on a measure regarding Department of Labor rules on overtime pay in 2003. The group wrote that the now-West Virginia senator was one of “the Republicans In Name Only who voted against the efforts to modernize these complicated regulations.”

Johnny Isakson (Georgia)

Politico reported on April 17 that Moore backed Herman Cain over then-Rep. Johnny Isakson in a 2003 Republican Senate primary, calling Isakson's voting record “worse-than-average” and labeling him a “career politician”:

“The Democrats don’t have any blacks in the Senate. We, as Republicans, could. A black, free-market senator from the South would be rich with irony,” Moore told the National Review, referring to Cain, in 2003. After endorsing Cain, he dinged Isakson for losing out: “Cain beat out Congressmen Johnny Isakson and Mac Collins for this very significant endorsement.”

Moore also tore into Isakson in a 2004 statement backing Cain, calling Isakson’s voting record “worse-than-average,” dubbing him a “career politician” and vowing to support Collins or Cain over him, according to a Club press release posted on a conservative website.

Republicans said Isakson was cool to Cain’s nomination, though Isakson personally declined to criticize Cain in an interview last week. His office on Wednesday declined to comment on Moore’s support of Cain in the 2004 primary.

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Stephen Moore
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