Carson must have had lunch on his mind Tuesday morning as he being was questioned about the discrepancy in some foreclosures by Congresswoman Katie Porter.
When asked about REOs, or real estate owned properties, the former neurosurgeon's brain immediately went to the world of sandwich cookies.
After Carson took his best guess at basic terminology associated with his cabinet position, Porter, a former professor who wrote an academic study on foreclosure fraud, went on to explain that those with Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans have a higher rate of foreclosure than families that chose government-sponsored enterprises in order to get a third-party loan guaranteed.
As the hearing was publicly broadcast, social media users wasted no time getting in on Carson's guessing game.
I'll say it:— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) May 21, 2019
The fact that Ben Carson immediately went for Oreo is telling. Mad telling. FREUDIAN LEVEL TELLING. https://t.co/x282ChCXXg
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
How dare we expect Ben Carson to know the difference between an REO and an OREO. He's just a doctor. It's not like he's the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development or anything. https://t.co/A3YUy3jeOa— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) May 21, 2019
me, not an intellectual: theres no way katie porter was asking about cookies— ɯ ᴉ ʇ ɥ (@ManlnTheHoody) May 21, 2019
ben carson, a brain surgeon: she was definitely asking about oreos
Betsy Devos has stiff competition from Ben Carson for “The Most Ignorant Congressional Testimony by a Cabinet Member Award”. 🤦🏻♀️ https://t.co/4rzQjCxdxO— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) May 21, 2019
Carson himself attempted to get in on the fun, but netizens were not having it and immediately flooded his replies.
Yes, it's hysterical that you're almost comically ignorant about the basic issues involved in your position. Hilarious.— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) May 21, 2019
Sir- i don't think you quite get what happened.— Dennis Herring (@dcherring) May 21, 2019
see, if she sent YOU Oreos…. https://t.co/jnZ2wXgPjn
Delete your account.— David Turnbull (@david_turnbull) May 21, 2019
Oreo-maker Nabisco has yet to comment on the matter.
During the hearing, Carson made a point of noting that "hundreds of thousands" of US citizens are awaiting federally subsidized housing, using that fact to argue against subsidizing housing for undocumented immigrants.
"If in fact you want to explain to the American citizens on the waitlist… why we should continue to support families who are not here legally?" Carson questioned.
Moments later, Rep. Nydia Velázquez said Carson was "talking from both sides" of his mouth, considering he sees an issue with housing availability, yet requested "$9.6 billion less for HUD's budget for fiscal year 2020."
Rep. Maxine Waters also blasted Carson and HUD during the hearing, saying the "department is actively causing harm" by proposing to slash rental assistance and recommending a "cruel proposal" to deny undocumented immigrants subsidized housing, even if they are staying with a legal resident.
More shade concerning the secretary's knowledge of his job was thrown by Rep. Carolyn Maloney after Carson claimed the cuts to rental assistance are "common sense" because you "take care of your own first."
"Mr. Secretary, the 'D' in HUD does not stand for deportation," Maloney responded, noting that banning undocumented immigrants from federal housing and the hike in payments could each displace the 25,000 mixed-status families currently living in federally subsidized housing.