US housing secretary confuses industry term with… cookie
Ben Carson, Trump’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, revealed that after 2 years on the job he still doesn’t know his way around the housing industry, confusing a common real estate term with a snack food.
Carson drew a blank when Rep. Katie Porter (D-California) asked him to explain the disparity in “REOs” between two types of loans during a congressional hearing. “Do you know what an REO is?” she asked.
“An Oreo?” Carson asked, confused. “Real estate…organization?” he guessed again when she explained it was an acronym. REO is a common real-estate term meaning “real estate owned,” referring to a property that has been foreclosed upon by a bank – a fact Carson might be expected to know by now, given that he’s led the Department of Housing and Urban Development for two years.
Even after Porter explained the term, Carson didn’t have an answer for her question, promising to “work with the people who do that.” She peppered him with a few more questions before giving up, none of which he seemed able to answer, instead complaining the congresswoman was getting “way down in the weeds.”
Carson’s “stammering would be funny if it weren’t so scary,” Porter said in a later statement to Huffington Post after the hearing. “Secretary Carson’s ignorance of the agency he oversees is a slap in the face to the American public,” she added.
Carson took the humiliation in stride, however, sending Porter a package of Oreo cookies after the video of his gaffe went viral.
Twitter didn’t think it was so cute.
Hahaha it’s funny that you are not qualified for your job and you treat it as a joke and your salary that you don’t need or deserve comes from people who pay taxes (the money they pay actually makes a difference in their day-to-day lives), good one Ben Carson, Secretary of HUD https://t.co/r5YwmoSwzw
— Paul F. Tompkins (@PFTompkins) May 21, 2019
geez, lighten up everyone, all Ben Carson did was prove he’s totally unqualified for a job overseeing the very same high-risk mortgages that nearly bankrupted the entire financial system a few years ago, its not like he left a Starbucks cup on a Game of Thrones set
— Matt Oswalt (@MattOswaltVA) May 21, 2019
Though some tried to shame Porter for expecting Carson to know things.
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Dems use hearing to repeatedly humiliate Ben Carson by using obscure acronyms simply because he is a black conservative. https://t.co/qqgETEzopw
— Marine4Trump ❌ (@TakebackUSA2) May 21, 2019
Where’s the book with all the acronyms they use 🤔
😡For the lazy goverment people that use acronyms
to make fun of DOCTOR Carson because he uses full words is demeaning
Dems use hearing to repeatedly quiz, stump Ben Carson on obscure acronymshttps://t.co/CexJzCih9d
— gloegirl (@gloegirl) May 21, 2019
Others saw his cluelessness as part of a pattern.
Modern Republicans: The Party of Genius
Devin Nunes: I’m suing an imaginary cow
Dr Ben Carson: Oreo cookies
Rudy Giuliani: The truth isn’t truth
Ted Cruz: Space Pirates!
Donald Trump: Windmills cause cancer, look at the piles of dead bald eagles! Killed by windmills
— Tomi T Ahonen (@tomiahonen) May 21, 2019
Ben Carson’s Oreo gaffe. Betsy DeVos and her imaginary grizzly bear. Rick Perry not knowing the name of the department he oversees. It’s time to cancel Who’s the Dumbest Cabinet Member? After 2.5 seasons it’s gone on for far too long.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) May 21, 2019
Carson was a renowned neurosurgeon before he entered politics, first with a failed presidential run of his own and later with an appointment in Trump’s cabinet. He had no previous real estate experience, and seems not to have developed a taste for the industry, having announced in March that he will resign if Trump wins a second term in 2020.
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