HUD Secretary Ben Carson confuses REO with Oreos in congressional hearing

Carson could not explain what the common foreclosure term stood for

TRD NATIONAL /
May.May 21, 2019 05:09 PM
Ben Carson (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

Ben Carson (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

Milk’s Favorite Cookie, better known as Oreo, took center stage in a congressional hearing Tuesday morning.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson could not come up with a definition for the common real estate foreclosure term, REO, instead confusing it with the tastier alternative, Oreo cookies.

REOs, Rep. Katie Porter pointed out, is an abbreviation for “real estate owned.”

The California Democrat was attempting to ask Carson about the difference in REO rates between Federal Housing Administration loans and Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loans. When she asked him if he knew what an “REO” is, he responded, “an Oreo?”

Carson was able to come up with two out of the three words in the acronym, incorrectly stating that “REO” stands for “real estate organization.”

Like most political slips of this kind, the exchange is now trending on Twitter. After the hearing concluded, Carson tweeted a photo of himself with a pack of Double Stuf Oreos he sent to the congresswoman.

(Credit: Twitter)

(Credit: Twitter)

Carson, a former Republican presidential candidate, is exploring the option of staying on for a second term as secretary, he previously told The Real Deal. He’s met opposition recently over his department’s plan to roll back subsidies for low-income residents and undocumented immigrants. [BI] — Natalie Hoberman


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