Mr. Cain is a former businessman and director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, an advisory position that largely involves linking the regional Fed bank to the business community. His presidential bid was notable for his “9-9-9” tax proposal, which coupled dramatically low 9-percent flat tax rates for businesses and individuals with a new 9 percent national sales tax, and for the harassment allegations that ended it.
Those allegations worried many Republicans in the Senate. Other critics questioned Mr. Cain’s qualifications for the Fed and his shifting views on interest rates, which Mr. Cain said should be higher under President Barack Obama, when the nation was struggling to recover from the 2008 financial crisis, but now says should stay low under Mr. Trump, when the economy is growing.
Many Fed analysts warned that Mr. Cain and a second potential Trump nominee, Stephen Moore, who is one of Mr. Trump’s outside economic advisers, would threaten the Fed’s history of independence from the White House. Neither Mr. Cain nor Mr. Moore had completed formal vetting procedures before Mr. Trump indicated he wanted to nominate them.
In recent years Mr. Cain has fashioned himself as a conservative commentator and staunch supporter of Mr. Trump. He posts frequent video columns on the website WesternJournal.com, including recent videos where he walked viewers through the process of being vetted for a Fed position. He also regularly links to the site’s stories on his Facebook page. Often, those stories are critiques of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, the freshman who has become a favorite target for conservatives.
On Monday, shortly after Mr. Trump announced Mr. Cain’s withdrawal, the most recent link on Mr. Cain’s page was a video of an eight-year-old girl doing an impression of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. “Oh my goodness,” Mr. Cain wrote, “this is the best thing you’ll see all day.”
Mr. Moore said in a text message on Monday that Mr. Trump would follow through on his nomination “when I get all the paperwork and financial disclosure done.”
White House officials have insisted in recent weeks that Mr. Moore’s nomination was on track, despite controversies over a $75,000 tax lien filed against him by the Internal Revenue Service and a judge finding him in contempt of court several years ago for failing to pay more than $300,000 in past-due child support and alimony.