Ben Carson rips lawmaker after 'Oreo' testimony

Cheryl Sanders
May 22, 2019

Ben Carson may know a thing or two about surgery, but he apparently doesn't know anything about real estate, which is kind of important if you're the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Carson didn't seem to hear her and responded: "An Oreo?".

"No, not an Oreo".

In real estate, an REO, or "real estate owned", refers to a property owned by a lender, after it's been foreclosed on.

Porter wanted information about why FHA loans are far more likely to end up as REOs than mortgages issued by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.


"Owned. Real estate owned".

Following the hearing, Carson acknowledged the misunderstanding in a light-hearted tweet.

Carson's testimony all but backed up the incessant accusations of incompetence that have helped plague his tenure leading the federal agency that is "responsible for national policy and programs that address America's housing needs, that improve and develop the Nation's communities, and enforce fair housing laws".

"If in fact you want to explain to the American citizens who have been on the wait list for several years in your district in NY why we should continue to support families that are not here legally, I would be happy to join you in helping explain that to them".

After the hearing, Carson tried to recover from the blunder by obtaining a pack of Oreo cookies and offering them, along with a thank you note, to Porter.


What followed was an awkward back and forth with the congresswoman as Carson appeared to not know what REO stands for, responding: "Real estate?"

After recounting a story about a constituent family living in an apartment plagued by mold, Pressley asked Carson whether they "deserve deserve to live in these conditions because they are poor?"

He replied, "It would be very nice if you would stop acting-" but did not answer before Pressley's time expired.

He believes that Porter is not up to date on the current REO portfolio.

Tensions flared, as Carson said, "If you've listened to anything that I have to say then you know very well my views on this" while Pressley repeatedly asked, "Would you let your grandmother live in public housing?" Enjoying a few post-hearing snacks.


The HUD secretary displayed his own sense of humor. Of course, we feel sympathy for people.

Other reports by iNewsToday

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER