Advocates for women and workers celebrated on Wednesday afternoon as Andrew Puzder, President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Labor Department, announced he was withdrawing his name from consideration the day before his scheduled confirmation hearing.
“This is a victory for women,” Julie Kashen, the policy director for Make It Work, a nonprofit advocacy campaign for economic security for working families. “He was a terrible candidate for women, from using sex to sell burgers to a history of talking about robots instead of people as employees.”
Puzder’s withdrawal came in the wake of renewed attention to decades-old domestic violence allegations leveled by his ex-wife. On Tuesday, Politico obtained a 27-year-old episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in which Lisa Fierstein spoke out about the alleged abuse she suffered. She has since recanted her claims.
In recent weeks, government watchdog group Campaign for Accountability has led the fight to unseal Puzder’s divorce filings, arguing that the public deserves to know if they contain domestic violence allegations.
While a judge released some previously unseen documents, the full records remained sealed on Wednesday. Dan Stevens, the executive director of Campaign for Accountability, said he was gratified that Senate Republicans recognize that allegations of domestic violence should disqualify a person from serving at the highest level of government.
“[We] worked to make the labor secretary nominee’s entire record available for public inspection to ensure the American people knew exactly who they who were getting with Mr. Puzder,” he said in a statement. “It’s clear that the more senators learned about Mr. Puzder, the less inclined they were to support him. All nominees should be subject to similar scrutiny.”