It could be argued that Ben Carson, like much of Trump’s administration, is not qualified to hold the very important position of power to which he’s been appointed. At the very least, he’s doesn’t seem very sympathetic to the plight of the poor. His potential incompetence became evident on Tuesday, when the neurosurgeon-turned-presidential candidate-turned-Secretary of Housing and Urban Development publicly confused a basic housing term with an Oreo cookie.
The surreal exchange occurred during a hearing on Capitol Hill, during which Carson was being grilled about the high number of foreclosures overseen by his department. Carson has held the position for two years, which is plenty of time for even a housing neophyte — which Carson was in 2017 — to catch up on basic terminology.
Rep. Katie Palmer wound up being who exposed how little Carson’s gleaned during his tenure. She asked him a rhetorical question, namely: “Do you know an R.E.O. is?” R.E.O., by the way, stands for Real Estate Owned, denoting a property that’s been foreclosed upon.
Carson did not seem to know this. His reply was to ask if she said “Oreo.” Porter then spelled it out for the secretary of HUB. Carson did know (or was able to guess) what the first two letters stood for. When it came for the third, he though the “O” was for “Organization.” At this point, Porter simply explained what it meant.
At least he didn’t confuse it with the band that recorded “Wheel in the Sky”? Either way, Fox News quickly sprang to Carson’s defense, claiming Democrats were trying to “stump” him with “obscure acronyms.” But as Vanity Fair points out, R.E.O. is an everyday term in Carson’s field.