Housing Secretary Ben Carson confuses real-estate term with an Oreo
Ben Carson might do more for Oreo cookie sales than “Game of Thrones” ever did.
But Carson, the housing secretary under President Trump, did not offer the promotion intentionally.
On Tuesday, Carson appeared to think that a California Democrat was questioning him about the cookies during his congressional testimony, when she was actually asking him about foreclosure properties.
Rep. Katie Porter was attempting to ask Carson about disparities in REO rates. The term refers to property owned by a bank or a lender after it’s been foreclosed.
— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) May 21, 2019
“I would also like to ask you to get back to me, if you don’t mind, to explain the disparity in REO rates. Do you know what an REO is?” asked the freshman congresswoman.
“An Oreo?” replied Carson.
“REO,” Porter repeated. “No, not an Oreo. An R-E-O.”
“Real estate?” Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, suggested. Then Porter to asked him what the “O” meant, to which Carson answered, “organization.”
Porter replied, “Owned, real estate owned. That’s what happens when a property goes to foreclosure, we call it an R-E-O.”
Once the hearing ended, Carson tweeted a photo of a package of Oreos next to a note thanking Porter for participating in the hearing, with the caption: “OH, REO! Thanks, @RepKatiePorter. Enjoying a few post-hearing snacks. Sending some your way!”
— Ben Carson (@SecretaryCarson) May 21, 2019
Once it heard of the hearing, Oreo’s social team got in the act, but thought better of it and took down the tweet.
@Oreo It’s a really hard pivot from the director of HUD not knowing a common term for foreclosure to promoting a cookie.
Maybe you should’ve waited a day or two.
ps, since you deleted your tweet, I saved it for you. pic.twitter.com/7ggltiK1p9
— Nerdy Dad Online (@JBwrench) May 21, 2019
One could only think Carson wished the hearing would stop after the first exchange.
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 21, 2019