Moore added that he spoke with Trump a few weeks ago — before Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, announced his departure — and that he is not seeking to succeed Hassett in the role, which requires Senate confirmation.
“Well no, no one has,” Moore said when asked whether anyone from the White House had contacted him about potentially taking Hassett’s place. “I did speak to the president a couple weeks ago, long before we knew that Kevin Hassett was leaving. And you know, I may do something at the White House or in the campaign, but look, I already went through the Senate confirmation hassle. I don’t think I’m going to do that again.”
Hassett was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 81 to 16 in September 2017.
Moore was Trump’s planned nominee for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board. But he bowed out in the face of sharp criticism from members of both parties.
Among those voicing serious concerns about his nomination were several female Republican senators who cited columns that he had written arguing that there would be societal problems if men were not the breadwinners in the family, denouncing co-ed sports and saying female athletes do “inferior work” to men.
Moore made a host of other remarks that generated controversy, including advocating for the elimination of child labor laws, joking about AIDS and stating that women should be allowed to be sports referees only if they are attractive.
“Is there no area in life where men can take vacation from women?” Moore wrote in one of his columns for the conservative magazine National Review in the 2000s.
Moore apologized for the comments in an April interview with ABC News, telling host George Stephanopoulos, “They were humor columns, but some of them weren’t funny, so I am apologetic.”
It remains unclear what position Moore may have his eye on. In a tweet last month announcing that Moore had withdrawn his bid, Trump called him “a great pro-growth economist and a truly fine person.”
“I’ve asked Steve to work with me toward future economic growth in our Country,” Trump said.
In Thursday’s Fox Business Network interview, Moore acknowledged that “the economy is slowing down, there’s no question about it,” citing ramped-up trade tensions between the United States and China.
“We had a really great GDP number for the first quarter,” he said. “So far in the second quarter, it’s 2 percent or less growth. And look, that’s in large part because of this trade war.”
Moore added that he supports the president’s approach to China, “but in the short term, this is going to cause some pain.”
He also suggested that Trump should consider former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer to succeed Hassett in the White House’s top economist job. The White House announced last week that Laffer, who shaped the theory of supply-side economics, will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom this month.
“Well look, I know from talking to the president that he thinks that Laffer is the best economist in the country; he would love to have Arthur,” Moore told Varney. “The question is, what you and I need to do is put the pressure on Arthur Laffer to accept the job.”
Last year, Laffer co-authored the book “Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive Our Economy.”
Colby Itkowitz and Seung Min Kim contributed to this report.