President Donald Trump’s choice for a seat on the powerful Federal Reserve Board said he regrets some of his writings from nearly two decades ago in which he made derogatory remarks about women in sports.
“They were humor columns, but some of them weren’t funny and so I am apologetic, I’m embarrassed by some of those things that I wrote,” Stephen Moore said Sunday during an interview with ABC’s “This Week.”
In several columns published in the early 2000s by the National Review, a conservative magazine, Moore expressed his displeasure with women in sports not just as players, but as referees and commentators.
In one 2002 column, he wrote:
How outrageous is this? This year they allowed a woman ref a men’s NCAA game. Liberals celebrate this breakthrough as a triumph for gender equity. The NCAA has been touting this as example of how progressive they are. I see it as an obscenity. Is there no area in life where men can take vacation from women? What’s next? Women invited to bachelor parties? Women in combat? (Oh yeah, they’ve done that already.) Why can’t women ref the women’s games and men the men’s games.
In another column, Moore mocked women in sports demanding equal pay for equal work and argued that female athletes are inferior to their male counterpoints.
Even as he sought to distance himself from the columns in his ABC interview, Moore said he was being targeted by a “smear campaign.” He urged his critics to focus instead on his qualifications for the job.
Moore is a former member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board. He also worked at the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation and has appeared frequently on Fox News.
Nominees to the Fed, which sets the nation’s monetary policy, typically come to the post with extensive experience in the world of monetary economics. Moore admitted he has no such experience.
Another of Trump’s picks for a Fed seat, former presidential candidate Herman Cain, withdrew himself from consideration last week amid renewed scrutiny of accusations of sexual harassment.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) urged Republicans last week not to confirm Moore simply to compensate for Cain withdrawal. Schumer called Moore “equally unqualified, and perhaps more political” for the job than Cain.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to Chuck Schumer as the Senate majority leader.