Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today pressed Stephen Moore, President Trump’s nominee to fill one of two vacant spots on the Federal Reserve Board, about when Moore once called Cleveland and Cincinnati the “armpits of America.”
“Why did you say that Cincinnati and Cleveland are the armpit of America? Please provide a list of other towns in the Midwest and the rest of the country that you believe also match the description of the ‘armpit of America,'” Brown wrote in a letter to Moore.
Moore made the comments in 2014 while speaking at a discussion hosted by the Heartland Institute.
“Chicago is a world-class city. … If you live in the Midwest, where else do you want to live besides Chicago? You don’t want to live in Cincinnati or Cleveland or these armpits of America like that. You want to live in Chicago,” Moore said at the time.
Brown, who is the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, which is responsible for reviewing Moore’s nomination, demanded an apology from Moore in today’s letter.
“On behalf of the people of Ohio, the Midwest, and every community that has been looked down on and disparaged by Washington and Wall Street, I demand an apology and I demand that you [publicly] retract your statement,” Brown wrote.
“You didn’t just insult Cleveland and Cincinnati — you dismissed millions of Americans who work and live in small towns and cities across the industrial heartland, and who have been looked down on and left behind by Washington and Wall Street for decades,” he wrote.
“As a public servant, your job would be to fight for these Americans — something you cannot do that when you don’t know the first thing about the places where they live.”
Brown goes on to give lengthy defenses of both Cleveland and Cincinnati, citing merits including the Cleveland Museum of Art and Playhouse Square in Cleveland and businesses in Cincinnati including Procter & Gamble, Kroger and GE Aviation.
“How dare you demean them and their work,” he wrote.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), the other senator from Ohio, has not commented.
Trump is expected to nominate Moore but has yet to do so.
Trump’s other potential pick for the Federal Reserve Board, Herman Cain, withdrew his name from consideration after dealing with the same accusations of sexual harassment that spurred him to end his 2012 presidential campaign.