CKE executives defend Puzder from bias claims as nomination stalls

Andy Puzder, President Trump’s labor secretary nominee, is facing fierce criticism over his time at the helm of CKE Restaurants, but former employees and Republicans are coming to his defense as his nomination continues to languish in a bitterly divided Senate.

Puzder’s allies say the attacks are part of a broader effort to unravel the president’s Cabinet at the confirmation stage. Democrats have deployed a variety of tactics, from boycotting committee votes to demanding hours of debate on the Senate floor in their quest to blockade the confirmations of all but a handful of Trump’s nominees.

Trump’s pick to lead the Labor Department, a 20-year veteran of the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., has faced allegations of sexism stemming from a series of racy cheeseburger commercials aired in 2005, as well as rumors of harassment at restaurants under his purview.

Diana Furchtgott-Roth, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and former chief economist at the Labor Department, said Puzder’s record has been “mischaracterized.”

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