While testifying before the House Financial Service Committee on Tuesday, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson misunderstood the basic housing term “REO,” or real estate owned property, with “Oreo,” Slate reports.
Representative Katie Porter (D-CA) asked Carson about foreclosure rates, specifically referencing REOs to describe bank- or lender-owned foreclosed properties. Carson, the nation’s leader of housing, was dumbfounded by the term.
Porter: Do you know what an REO is?
Carson: An Oreo?
Porter: No, not an Oreo. An R-E-O. REO.
Carson: Real estate …
Porter: What’s the “O” stand for?
Carson: Real estate… e-Organization.
And Carson, hoping to save his public image after his apparent lapse in—or entire lack of—expertise, decided that it was a good idea to tweet a picture of himself holding, you guessed it, a package of Oreos.