Ben Carson is drawing ridicule — once more — after confusing a popular cookie brand with a real estate term during a congressional hearing on Tuesday.
REO stands for ‘Real Estate Owned,’ and refers to foreclosures, but unfortunately Carson — whose vocation is neurosurgery — thought Porter was referring to the tasty treat instead.
Even when Porter spelled out the term for Carson, he only knew that the R and E stood for real estate, but incorrectly guessed that the O stood for ‘e-organization’.
“Real estate owned – that’s what happens when a property goes into foreclosure, we call it an REO, and FHA loans have much higher REOs, that is, they go into foreclosure rather than into loss mitigation or to non-foreclosure alternatives like short sales, than comparable loans” at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Porter said, according to Politico.
Porter wanted Carson to answer why Federal Housing Administration loans were more prone to be REOs than mortgages that were issued by Freddie Mac and Freddie Mae since HUD’s fiscal 2018 report revealed that the agency disposed of almost 32 percent of REO properties.
Although Carson didn’t have an exact answer at the time, he offered her the opportunity to speak with HUD experts on the matter.
“Respectfully, that was my day job before I came to Congress,” she responded, “So now it’s my job to ask you to work with people. I spent a decade working with the people at HUD on this problem.”
— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) May 21, 2019
Following the hearing, Carson thought he could cover up his misunderstanding in a joking way by sending Porter a package of Oreos accommodated with a letter.
‘OH, REO! Thanks, @RepKatiePorter,’ he tweeted. ‘Enjoying a few post-hearing snacks. Sending some your way!’
— Ben Carson (@SecretaryCarson) May 21, 2019
In an interview with CNN, Porter confirmed that Carson did indeed send the cookies.
“He actually sent a family-size box of Double Stuf Oreos to our office,” Porter said.
“And while I was pleased to receive correspondence from him, what I’m really looking for is answers,” she added.