Carson’s ‘Oreo’ Wisecrack Got Some Laughs, But Katie Porter Is Having None Of It

Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) isn’t amused.

After House and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson got some laughs for confusing a housing foreclosure term with America’s favorite sandwich cookie, Porter said on “Morning Joe” Wednesday that the exchange demonstrates Carson isn’t up for the job.

“I thought you did a great job trying to get answers yesterday,” MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski told Porter. “You had questions about the numbers of foreclosures and the numbers of people who are being left homeless with terrible credit, their credit practically insurmountably ruined. And is it fair to say the man who heads the department in charge of these issues has no idea what he’s doing?”

“It appeared to be that way,” Porter said. “My questions were serious ones. They weren’t designed to be funny … I’ve worked on helping families who are facing foreclosure for more than a decade, and it’s been a well-known problem that FHA, the agency at the government that is designed to help first-time home owners and moderate-income home buyers, a part of HUD, has real problems with how it services mortgages and how it helps families in foreclosure. And Mr. Carson not only didn’t know anything about this, but he actually told me it was my job to explain to him and to come to HUD and teach his staff. And to me that just shows a real disrespect for the importance of his job to the American people.”

During a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, Porter asked Carson if he is familiar with an REO — or real-estate owned. Carson seemed to confuse the acronym for an Oreo, drawing some laughs from the room.

Carson tried to make light of the gaffe by sending Porter some Oreo cookies and posing with a package of them himself.

Later in the “Morning Joe” interview Wednesday, Porter said flat-out that she does not believe Carson should be in the position of HUD secretary.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: