Ben Carson decries 'gotcha' politics: 'Give me a break'

Ben Carson decries 'gotcha' politics: 'Give me a break'
© Anna Moneymaker

Housing Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonAid restrictions sideline Puerto Rican civil society Trump administration ending delay on over B in Puerto Rico disaster aid HUD to roll back Obama-era housing desegregation rule MORE griped about "gotcha politics" in a recent interview after being called out for not understanding a basic terminology under the scope of his cabinet position last month.  

Carson was criticized in May when he appeared confused at Rep. Katie Porter's (D-Calif.) question about what an REO (Real estate owned) foreclosure was during a House Financial Services Committee hearing. 

"Oreo?" Carson replied


In an interview Wednesday with ABC News, Carson said "it's silly" to engage in "'Ha! Gotcha!' stuff." 

“And I think, 'Give me a break,’” Carson said.

He added that there's "big policy issues to deal with" and said that is what he wants to talk about. 

In the immediate aftermath of the REO misunderstanding, though, Carson chose to make light of the situation tweeting an image of himself holding a box of Oreos to send Porter's way. 

During the hearing Carson was grilled on his department's plan to roll back an Obama-era rule ensuring homeless transgender people can stay in single-sex shelters that match their gender identity. 

Carson told committee members he was not anticipating changing the rule, but one day later HUD unveiled a proposal that would effectively allow federally funded shelters to discriminate against transgender people. 

The Hill reported Carson defended his prior testimony sending a letter to Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersGearing up for a chaotic year on K Street Maxine Waters: Republicans 'shielding' Trump 'going to be responsible for dragging us to war' Green says House shouldn't hold impeachment articles indefinitely MORE (D-Calif.) and ranking member Patrick McHenryPatrick Timothy McHenryMnuchin expresses concerns about proposed taxes on financial trades Fed's top regulator takes heat from both parties NC rep explores Tillis primary challenge MORE (R-N.C.) that the 2012 rule is "not being revised." 

“I abhor discrimination and want to assure you HUD is, and always will be, committed to protecting every person's right to access to our programs without fear or discrimination,” he wrote.

Democrats and LGBTQ advocates said stripping protections could lead to shelters denying access to those in need and force transgender people into dangerous situations.