Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson defended his plan to remove illegal immigrants from public housing while slamming news outlets that picked soundbites from his testimony on Capitol Hill to “ridicule” him.
Carson fired back at the condescending questioning by Democrats during his testimony Tuesday before the House Financial Services Committee, telling Fox Business Network’s Stuart Varney that he was “having difficulty hearing” the questions but was completely familiar with the issue being addressed.
(Video: YouTube/Fox Business)
“First of all it was three and a half hours of testimony so you can see that some of the networks are only interested in those kinds of sound bites that they can use to ridicule,” the former brain surgeon said on “Varney & Co.” Wednesday.
“The fact of the matter is I was having difficulty hearing her and of course I’m very familiar with foreclosed properties and with REOs. I’ve read extensively about them, knew about them even as a teenager there was a lot of blighted areas in Detroit where I grew up,” he added.
Carson was mocked by liberal media after his appearance for the oversight hearing before the House Financial Services Committee. A question from Rep. Katie Porter on foreclosure rates and REO’s momentarily stumped Carson as he tried to hear the California Democrat.
“Do you know what an REO is?” she asked.
“OREO?” Carson questioned, referring to the cookie.
“No, not an Oreo—an REO,” Porter shot back, rudely explaining what the real-estate owned properties are to the HUD Secretary. She even tweeted a video of the incident to take another jab at Carson.
— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) May 21, 2019
“When a family gets into a problem with their mortgage and it’s backed by our agency, we go through a lot of procedures with the banks to make sure that they don’t get foreclosed upon and, the few cases when they do, obviously we’re able to sell those properties very quickly,” Carson told Varney, noting that the REO portfolio has “decreased by tenfold” in the last decade.
“So I suspect when Katie Porter was an expert in this area, things were very different,” Carson added. “That’s why I invited her to speak with our staff that deals with these so they can bring her up to date. Maybe she would then be able to understand what’s going on.”
He also defended his plan to remove illegal immigrants from government-subsidized housing, arguing that he is actually trying to uphold existing law.
“Well you know, we have an obligation to follow the law. And Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980 says specifically that the HUD Secretary may not support housing for people who are not here legally,” he said.
“So, what they’re asking me to do is violate the law. They have the ability to change the law,” he said of Democrats. “What’s really interesting is how they try to make this emotional argument about children. These are the same people who are for late-term abortions, who take a child who is viable outside of the womb and are willing to slaughter them. Now tell me how is that consistent?”
Varney admitted that he had no answer to the question but was “appalled” by the “attempt to get at you.”
Carson credited the exchanges and the reactions later to community organizer Saul Alinksy, referring to his book “Rules for Radicals,” saying “you can see exactly what they are doing” but that “they don’t even know that they are being used.”