(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump accompanied by, from second from left, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, White House press secretary Sean Spicer .
BY PETER ALEXANDER and ALI VITALI, NBC News
(NBC News) - President Donald Trump is set to announce Alexander Acosta as his new pick to head the Department of Labor, less than a day after his first choice for the job, Andy Puzder, withdrew from consideration.
Acosta served as assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division under President George W. Bush, selected by the president in August 2003. Acosta was a member of the National Labor Relations Board and also served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division. Most recently, he was the dean of Florida International University College of Law.
If confirmed, Acosta would be the first Hispanic in Trump's cabinet.
Puzder, Trump's first pick withdrew after struggling to gain traction for his nomination.
Puzder, the head of CKE Restaurants, which owns Hardee's and Carl's Jr., faced harsh criticism from Democrats and liberal groups for his opposition to raising the minimum wage, previous controversial comments and the racy ads for his company's fast-food chains. Multiple Republican senators also pulled their support.
White House senior officials told NBC News Wednesday night they saw the "erosion of the support" for Puzder, one official stating bluntly the numbers just weren't adding up in his nomination fight. "We know how to count," the official said.
The cabinet-level defeat comes as the White House still reels from the dismissal of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Flynn tendered his resignation Monday night after misleading Vice President Mike Pence, and others, as to the nature of his calls with a Russian diplomat before Trump took office.
Thursday, September 21 2017 2:57 AM EDT2017-09-21 06:57:22 GMT
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