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Carl's Jr., Hardee's CEO Leading Candidate For Labor Secretary

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Associated Press Associated Press

Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, which owns fast food restaurants Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, is far and away the leading candidate for labor secretary and is just waiting the final call to be offered the post.

Puzder, who supported Mr. Trump’s candidacy and advised his campaign, has completed the vetting process and been given encouraging signs by the transition team.

If he is nominated, the Labor Department would be led by a man who opposes dramatically raising the minimum wage. Puzder has argued that a higher minimum wage cuts profitability, forces businesses to cut jobs and increases reliance on automation. Another assertion he’s made is that raising the minimum wage does nothing structurally to break the cycle of poverty for the working poor.

Like Mr. Trump, Puzder also favors repealing and replacing Obamacare. In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, he blamed rising health insurance premiums for reductions in restaurant revenues.

“[C]ombined with the economic advantages of eating at home due to lower grocery-store prices, we are experiencing what you might call a government-mandated restaurant recession,” Puzder wrote in another WSJ op-ed.

Puzder met with Trump Wednesday in New York.

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