News & Politics

Herman Cain: 'I Was Overqualified' for Federal Reserve Board

Herman Cain: 'I Was Overqualified' for Federal Reserve Board
Former Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain is interviewed in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON — Former GOP Presidential Candidate Herman Cain told PJM that he was “overqualified” for a position on the Federal Reserve Board but withdrew from consideration for the job because he would not be able to speak freely.

“This was the dealbreaker. I couldn’t continue to have my website, I couldn’t continue to do my daily show, which is posted on my website, every day. I couldn’t do keynote speaking and be direct and talk about things I’d want to talk about. I couldn’t criticize Democrats. I couldn’t criticize Republicans. I couldn’t criticize RINOs. I couldn’t talk and so it was not a good fit but I did not know this going in,” Cain said during an interview after a “Big Tech Vs. Free Speech: Conservatives Push Back on Blacklisting” discussion at the National Press Club on Tuesday.

“Saturday before Easter I prayed, ‘Lord help me make this decision.’ I woke up the next morning and the Lord had helped me make that decision. I called Larry Kudlow Monday morning after Easter and said, ‘Larry, I don’t want the president to formally nominate me’ and I gave him all of the reasons why. I said, ‘it’s not a good fit. I’m honored that I was being considered but it’s not a good fit.’ He said, ‘OK, let me talk to the president.’ He called the president and within an hour got back to me and said, ‘we understand. You’re a good man Herman Cain,’ like you’re a good man Charlie Brown because I was honest,” he added.

Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and former CEO of the National Restaurant Association, was asked for his response to lawmakers who did not think he was qualified for a position on the Federal Reserve Board.

“I was overqualified for the position. They didn’t know what they were talking about. They didn’t know me. They didn’t know my background. Look, how do you define qualifications for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors? I served on the regional Federal Reserve Board of Kansas City. My undergraduate degree is in mathematics. I understand analytics and analysis. My graduate degree is in computer science,” he replied.

“I happened to have been in business for 50 years. What are they talking about? I understand business. I understand people and I understand the rules that they try to imply. I know how the Fed rate trickles down the banks and they roll it down to their customers and that sort of thing. I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of their decisions,” he added.

Cain predicted that he would have been confirmed for a position on the Federal Reserve Board if he had decided to go through the formal nomination process.

“I believe I would have. I had already planned to go talk to some of the senators who were saying that they question my qualifications. I have no problem confronting the people and I would have sat down with those who were questioning my qualifications and I would have walked them through my qualifications,” he said.

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