HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s ‘Oreo’ Testimony Goes Viral
If anyone still thinks that Ben Carson is qualified to run the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), here is a reminder that he is not.
During the House Financial Services Committee hearing on Tuesday when California Rep. Katie Porter asked him about the meaning of the acronym “REO,” he replied, “Oreo?”
Porter was referring to Real Estate Owned. She was trying to get an answer on disparities in foreclosure rates among properties granted loans by the Federal Housing Administration.
The Congresswoman posted a video clip of her exchange with Carson on Twitter. It has received more than 4 million views.
— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) May 21, 2019
Carson found solace by speaking with Fox News.
He told Fox Business’ Stuart Varney on Wednesday that he had trouble hearing Porter during his 3.5-hour Congressional testimony, and implied that the Congresswoman is the one that is not up to date on the current REO portfolio.
Carson told Varney that he’s read “extensively” about REOs and foreclosed properties. He even knew about them when he was a teen in Detroit, he said. When Trump appointed him to lead HUD in 2016, with no prior housing experience, Carson said that growing up in an inner city made him qualified.
“I suspect when Katie Porter was an expert in this area things were very different that’s why I invited her to speak with our staff that deals with these so they can bring her up to date — maybe she would then be able to understand what’s going on,” Carson said.
Porter said in a statement: “I’m glad that he’s taken the time to read about the critically necessary reforms to the Federal Housing Authority’s foreclosure and conveyance processes.”
She also declined Carson’s invitation.
“I worked on exactly these issues until the day I was sworn into Congress; I don’t need to be ‘brought up to date,'” she said.
Carson posted a tweet on Wednesday in an attempt to make light of his gaffe as a leader of a government entity with a current estimated 2019 budget of $52.7B:
— Ben Carson (@SecretaryCarson) May 21, 2019