Mitt Romney's presidential campaign offered a display of mixed messages regarding the future of the Federal Reserve, with the presumptive Republican candidate's top economic advisor offering an endorsement of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and the candidate offering a completely different message.
In an interview with Reuters, Romney advisor Glenn Hubbard said that he would recommend that Bernanke should ‘get every consideration’ to stay on his term's expiration in January 2014. Bernanke was appointed by then-President George W. Bush in 2006 and re-appointed by President Obama in 2010.
‘Ben is a model technocrat,’ says Hubbard. ‘He gets paid nothing for getting kicked around all the time. I think they ought to pat him on the back.
‘I may or may not agree with him, but that's very different from saying I question his motives,’ Hubbard adds. ‘I wish politicians would stop doing that.’
However, Romney distanced himself from Hubbard's comments. In an interview with Fox Business Network, the former Massachusetts governor made it clear that he would not reappoint Bernanke.
‘I would like to select … a new person to that chairman position,’ Romney says. ‘Someone who shared my economic views, someone that I thought was sympathetic to the needs of our nation, and I want to make sure that the Federal Reserve focuses on maintaining the monetary stability that leads to a strong dollar, and confidence that America is not going to go down the road that other nations have gone down to their peril.’
This is not the first time that Hubbard and Romney have sent out contradictory signals. In May, Hubbard told the Wall Street Journal that Romney would spell out his plans for financial regulation at greater length in a series of campaign speeches in early summer. To date, however, Romney has offered no such specifics and has mostly avoided discussing housing and financial regulatory policies.