Dem Rep. on Viral ‘Oreo’ Exchange With Ben Carson: ‘I Was Disappointed,’ He Just Wanted to ‘Dodge Questions’
Democratic Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) expressed her frustration and disappointment with the Congressional testimony of HUD Secretary Ben Carson to CNN’s Erin Burnett on Tuesday: “I think what we saw from Secretary Carson with so many of the questions was an effort to kind of evade and dodge giving answers to the American people, which is the very point of him coming in to testify.”
During a House Oversight Committee hearing, Porter’s exchange with Carson over the housing term “REOs” led to a viral moment after it became apparent the HUD Secretary had confused her question with one about the cookie “Oreo.” After the hearing concluded, Carson tried to poke fun at his own gaffe by sending a family-size pack of Double Stuf Oreos to the Congresswoman’s office.
Congresswoman Porter was not amused.
“I was disappointed. I was asking serious questions about serious problems that Americans are facing. The foreclosure rate continues to exist at FHA and the foreclosure proceedings and processes have been bad for over 15 years that I’ve worked on the issue,” she explained. “While I was pleased to receive correspondence [Oreos] from him what I’m looking for is answers. So I hope this is the first of a series of things that he sends to my office and I’m looking forward to receiving substantive answers as to how we can better help homeowners who find themselves struggling to make ends meet.”
Burnett also sought Porter’s opinion about the strikingly different tone Carson appeared to take in his responses to questions from women and men on the committee. She played a brief clip of Carson dismissively stonewalling and snarkily answering a question with a question from Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and then politely agreeing — “Your point is well taken” — with a pointed criticism from Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT).
“Was there a difference? How he handled thee questions from women and men?” Burnet asked.
“Absolutely there clearly was,” Porter said. “I think what we saw from Secretary Carson with so many of the questions was an effort to kind of evade and dodge giving answers to the American people, which is the very point of him coming in to testify. It’s nice that he gave Mr. Mcadams, my colleague, an answer but the rest on the committee including the women, the young women, we deserve answers as well.”
Watch video above, via CNN.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]