The White House on Monday touted an op-ed written by Andy Puzder, President Trump's first pick to be secretary of labor who withdrew from consideration after he lost support of Senate Republicans following a report of domestic abuse.
In the op-ed, published in the Wall Street Journal, Puzder credits the Trump administration's "regulatory rollback" with "driving an economic surge few anticipated." He added that this was a far better route to economic prosperity that than liberals' preferred method: raising the minimum wage.
"Businesses compete for the best employees. If you want the best, you pay the going rate. With regulatory relief, tax cuts and the increased business that comes from economic growth, employers now have the resources to bid up wages," Puzder wrote.
The White House liked the commentary so much it reposted the op-ed on its own website and e-mailed it out.
Puzder, formerly chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants, which owns the Hardee's and Carl's Jr. franchises, had been a controversial pick from labor secretary, having been an outspoken critic of the Obama administration's efforts to expand workplace regulations. He was one of the business leaders who was an early supporter of Trump's.
Democrats and labor group fought his nomination. A video clip of his ex-wife appearing on a 1990 episode of the "Oprah Winfrey Show" dedicated to spousal abuse surfaced shortly before what was supposed to have been Puzder's Senate confirmation vote.
In the clip, Puzder's ex-wife, Lisa Fierstein, said her ex-husband never physically abused her but that she suffered psychological trauma from their divorce. Fierstein had previously disavowed her Oprah comments, telling the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that she made them because of anger over the break-up and to gain leverage in the divorce. The clip nevertheless sank Puzder's already shaky chances, and he withdrew on Feb. 15. Alexander Acosta was subsequently confirmed as labor secretary.