Last year, Ben Carson felt he was unqualified to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development — which was a little concerning, considering the retired neurosurgeon ran for the president against Donald Trump.
Carson later overcame his personal qualms about lack of political and government experience, and accepted nomination to head the $47 billion department overseeing federal housing.
His determination and eagerness to serve under his former tormentor could not have been clearer during his senate confirmation hearing — particularly when Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren began questioning him.
"If you are confirmed to lead HUD, you will be responsible for issuing billions of dollars in grants and loans to help develop housing and provide a lot of housing-related services," Warren said to Carson. "Now, housing development is an area in which President-elect Trump and his family have significant business interests. Can you assure me that not a single taxpayer dollar that you give out will financially benefit the president-elect or his family?"
It was a straightforward question, but Carson lived up to his reputation of spewing bizarre statements at the most unfortunate of times.
“It will not be my intention to do anything to benefit any American,” he declared rather boldly.
Then the wheels spun in his head and the man, who once said Joseph of the Old Testament built pyramids to store grain, added: “It’s for all Americans, anything that we do."
“I will manage things in a way that benefits the American people,” he further clarified. “That is going to be the goal.”
“It will not be my intention to do anything that will benefit any American” — Ben Carson, with an all-time great gaffe.— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) January 12, 2017
Ben Carson tongue tied when asked about Trump benefiting from HUD $ 'It will not be my intention to do anything to benefit any American'— Andrew Rafferty (@AndrewNBCNews) January 12, 2017
However, the most important thing is that Carson declined to guarantee that federal dollars would not benefit Trump or his family.
“If there happens to be an extraordinarily good program that is working for millions of people and it turns out that someone that you're targeting is going to gain $10 from it, am I going to say, 'No, the rest of you Americans can't have it'?" the former presidential hopeful exclaimed. “I think logic and common sense probably would be the best way.”
Warren was quick to point out she was not talking about assurances of the “$10 varieties, but of multimillion-dollar varieties.”
“The reason you can't assure us of that is because the president-elect is hiding his family's business interests from you, from me, from the rest of America,” Warren said. “And this just highlights the absurdity and the danger of the president-elect's refusal to put his assets in a true blind trust.”
The entire hearing seemed like a job interview with a candidate who had no idea what the job entailed (or wanted one, for that matter).
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters