Republicans Turn On Andrew Puzder
By Olivia Grady
On February 15, 2017, Andrew Puzder withdrew his nomination as Secretary of Labor. President Donald Trump had nominated him on December 8, 2016. Puzder is the successful CEO of CKE Restaurants, which owns Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.
Liberals and particularly union leaders have dishonestly attacked him as a greedy CEO who cares nothing about his workers.
In my January 16, 2017 article, “Union Front Group Uses Sham Study to Smear Andrew Puzder,” I revealed how the study on CKE Restaurants by the union-backed Restaurant Opportunities Centers United was a sham. The group conducted its study on social media, a sure way to receive feedback from unhappy workers. Legitimate polling organizations do not use this method because it leads to poor results.
Even more hurtful and dishonest was the liberals’ use of Puzder’s former wife, Lisa Fierstein. Ms. Fierstein claimed during divorce proceedings that Puzder was abusive, and during the mid-1980s, she spoke about the abuse on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
Ms. Fierstein, however, later recanted her story of abuse in a November 6, 1991 letter and said that she had been persuaded by her lawyer to make those allegations. In the letter, she stated that her:
“major regret was the retainment of counsel who knew Andy personally and did not share his views on certain social issues and therefore the advice I received may have been biased.”
The social issue she refers to likely is abortion. At the time, Puzder was the top pro-life lawyer in Missouri, while the wife of her lawyer was a pro-choice activist.
Today, Ms. Fierstein is once again standing up for her former husband. Fox News reported that she had sent an email to Puzder in November reiterating her retraction:
“I regretted and still regret that decision and I withdrew those allegations over thirty years ago. You were not abusive. I will most definitely confirm to anyone who may ask that in no way was there abuse.”
Puzder, his current wife, and Ms. Fierstein even had dinner together in Missouri last Thursday on February 9th.
But this week, Republicans are the ones targeting Andrew Puzder.
On February 15, 2017, the conservative National Review published the article “No to Puzder. ” In the article, the editors criticized Puzder’s stance on immigration reform, which is contrary to Trump’s position. They argued that Puzder wants more immigration so that he can pay workers less. They were worried that as Secretary of Labor, Puzder would have had a lot of power over immigration.
In addition, the editors of National Review mentioned that he’s been associated with a lot of scandal recently, most particularly his decision to hire an undocumented housekeeper. Puzder claims he didn’t know she was undocumented and that he later paid the taxes. In the days prior to his hearing, several Republican senators were unwilling to vote for him, including Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Susan Collins (Maine), Johnny Isakson (Georgia), Tim Scott (South Carolina), Rob Portman (Ohio) and John Thune (South Dakota). Four of these members are on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.
The Senate HELP Committee was expected to hold a hearing for Andrew Puzder on February 16, 2017. Puzder, however, withdrew his nomination before the meetings.
In a statement explaining his withdraw, Puzder said:
“After careful consideration and discussions with my family, I am withdrawing my nomination for Secretary of Labor. I am honored to have been considered by President Donald Trump to lead the Department of Labor and put America's workers and businesses back on a path to sustainable prosperity. I want thank President Trump for his nomination.”
Center for Worker Freedom expects President Trump will choose another great leader as Secretary of Labor.