Only yesterday, the Republican national committee sent out a press release citing a Wall Street Journal editorial that highlighted “the bogus charges” Democrats and “their union machine” were lobbing at Puzder in “a desperate attempt to block his confirmation at all costs. Puzder’s record “as a proven job creator and business leader makes him the perfect candidate to stand up for American workers.”
But while Trump and his intimates were immune to the anti-Puzder campaign, other Republicans were not. At least four Republican senators – Susan Collins (Maine), Johnny Isakson (Georgia), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Tim Scott (South Carolina) – looked set to vote against him, ending his chances of nomination. Rumor had it more knives were ready to be plunged in Puzder’s back.
The fast-food boss’s fall shows another flaw emerging in Trump’s presidency. Having been seen off by the judiciary over his immigration ban, Trump is now learning that while he may love to give the middle finger to (supposedly) liberal public opinion, there are Republicans who will not join in. And without them, his plans can come undone.
If Trump wants someone to blame, he could start with Barack Obama. The Obama administration led the most dramatic turnaround in employment in living memory. Unemployment peaked at 10% after the recession Obama inherited from George W Bush. It was less than 5% when he vacated the White House. But wages have stagnated and many of those new jobs have been created in service industries such as fast food.
Out of this conundrum has emerged a vocal, organized and union-backed movement fighting for a higher minimum wage and more worker rights, Fight for $15. When Trump appointed Puzder, the well-oiled machine that won some major concessions from McDonald’s, WalMart and others under Obama saw its chance. Protests across the country highlighted Puzder’s record – and it was not a good one.
...Here was a man who talked gleefully about dumping staff for robots: “They’re always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex or race discrimination case,” he told Business Insider last year.
He told Bloomberg BusinessWeek his firm was hiring “the best of the worst. It’s kind of the bottom of the pool.” And in his first memo to Hardee’s managers, he wrote: “No more people behind the counter unless they have all their teeth.”The good news for Andy Pudzer is that the First Lady intervened for a fellow Slovenian in #AltFactland.
Using his stage name, Zjeliko Ivanek, Pudzer gets to keep his role as the President's chief of staff on the CBS series, Madam Secretary.