- The Washington Times
Thursday, December 8, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump’s likely pick for Labor Secretary is under fire from a liberal nonprofit organization for his unrepentant love for “beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis.”

Fast-food executive Andy Puzder of CKE Restaurants has regularly fielded questions about the ad campaigns of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. restaurants. His support for their commercials, which have never shied away from showing scantily clad women, has enraged Think Progress, an arm of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

“Not only has Puzder opposed workers’ attempts to earn higher wages and boasted that he’d replace workers with robots, but he also seems to share the same sexist views as the future president,” Think Progress reported Monday. “Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., the restaurants operated by CKE, are both known for their incredibly sexist and hyper-sexualized ad campaigns. The chains are notorious for using supermodels to sell its fast food, featuring them splayed across the hoods of cars holding burgers or licking ketchup off their bodies.”

The website then cited a May 2015 interview Mr. Puzder gave to Entrepreneur magazine as evidence of his sexist recalcitrance.

“I like our ads,” the businessman said. “I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it’s very American. I used to hear, brands take on the personality of the CEO. And I rarely thought that was true, but I think this one, in this case, it kind of did take on my personality.”

Think Progress said Mr. Puzder’s stance was troubling because as Labor Secretary he would “oversee the Women’s Bureau, the only federal agency devoted exclusively to the concerns of women in the labor force.”

Mr. Puzder is also a critic of The Affordable Care Act and minimum-wage hike campaigns like “Fight for $15.”

Sources close to the president-elect told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday that an announcement on the Labor Secretary selection would be coming soon.

Trump transition spokesman Jason Miller told reporters on Wednesday that Mr. Puzder would be “an excellent advocate for the president-elect and his economic message.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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