CKE CEO Andy Puzder joined me this AM to talk about his nomination to become Secretary of labor and why he withdrew:
HH: Are you disillusioned?
AP: Well, I don’t know about disillusioned, I’d say well, you know, first, as we can all see, I mean, as everybody knows, the left is trying to sink as many of the President’s nominees as possible. So in that sense, it really wouldn’t have mattered what I believed or who I was or what the process was. They were going to campaign against me as a means of hurting the President. And once the hearing, once my hearing was delayed and it was delayed a number of times, they saw some Senators wavering, and the left went in full throttle. So, but more particularly, I think my problem was that the unions and the Democrats didn’t want a successful businessperson who understood what it takes to create jobs and economic growth running the Department of Labor, you know, particularly one who might actually have been successful at helping the President create jobs and generate economic growth. And personally, I don’t believe their concern was that I would be bad for workers. I think their concern was that I would pursue policies they opposed, and that workers would benefit. So the implications of that for the left would really have been devastating. And obviously, if we had economic growth and more jobs, employers would start competing with each other for employees, which would increase both wages and benefits without government mandates or coercion, which is something the unions and big government progressives really don’t want to see, because it would confirm that no matter what the mainstream media’s been telling working and middle class Americans, pro-growth economic policies are in fact in their best interest, and big government’s not. So that’s a message unions, progressives and Democrats don’t want out there. So for years, I’ve been effectively on your show and others making the case as to why government regulations kill jobs and would have, and I would have done so as secretary of Labor, which is why I think the left opposed me and engaged in this enormous campaign to wear down my support. These other issues they raised in the process, which really were the ones that ended up sinking the nomination, were really only pretextual, because, and they were totally, and in addition, they were false.
HH: That’s what drives me crazy, Andy.
AP: If I had supported this $15 dollar minimum wage, Obamacare and the overtime rules, these other issues wouldn’t even have come up, or if they did come up, they would have been laughed away. And I think everybody in Washington knows it. So I think the process is definitely defective, but you know, when there’s a campaign like this against you, it’s very tough to overcome.