As we approach President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, more and more of his administration picks are slowly being revealed. He's already identified Ben Carson as secretary of housing and urban development, Jeff Sessions as attorney general, Scott Pruitt as EPA administrator, James Mattis as defense secretary, Elaine Chao as transportation secretary, and Tom Price as health and human services secretary, among others. Now, his labor secretary pick is Andy Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants. But which restaurants does Puzder own?
As the executive of CKE, Puzder oversees burger chains Hardee's and Carl's Jr. You might know the restaurants from their controversial ads, which often feature women in bikinis eating their signature burgers. And Puzder is all for the ads, telling Entrepreneur last year, "I like our ads. I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it's very American."
One thing Puzder doesn't seem to like quite as much as women eating burgers in little clothing is raising the minimum wage. He's spoken of the potential benefits of running a fast food chain via machines, telling Business Insider, "They're always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there's never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case."
The New York Times reported that Puzder opposes measures to expand overtime for minimum-wage workers. He also wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which itself is not an uncommon theme across the group of people surrounding Trump. However, his reasoning seems to be a little different. According to the New York Times, he believes the Affordable Care Act created a "restaurant recession" through rising premiums, which leave households with less money to dine out.
According to NBC, Puzder has served as a senior adviser for Trump. He also worked with Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign as a financial adviser, reported the Los Angeles Times. Given his experience working with Republican leaders, it's not too much of a surprise that Trump would bring him on board to the campaign. From his bio on CKE's website, Puzder's background outside of the company is mostly in law. He was practicing law in St. Louis when he met Carl's Jr. founder Carl Karcher, and eventually was brought into the company, later earning the title of CEO.
Trump still has several positions to fill within his administration, and we'll see who else will be joining the team in the coming weeks. But it seems to be shaping up as a somewhat predictable group who shares in a lot of Trump's own beliefs.