The morning after Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson embarrassingly confused a basic real-estate term with a famous cookie during a contentious House hearing, the former neurosurgeon claimed the Democratic lawmakers who grilled him were taking their cues from community activist Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.
Carson made national headlines Tuesday when he, the secretary of housing, appeared confused by various real-estate terms. At several points, he asked Democratic congresswomen to explain fundamental terminology for him.
During an unsurprisingly sympathetic interview with Fox Business Network’s Stuart Varney on Wednesday morning, the Trump official complained that news networks only picked “sound bites that they can use to ridicule” before blaming his highly mocked “Oreo” moment on his “difficulty hearing” Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA).
After insisting he was “very familiar” with the term “REO” (an acronym for “real estate holding,” which Carson appeared entirely unfamiliar with) and foreclosed properties, Carson criticized Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) for taking him to task over a HUD plan that could result in thousands of immigrant children becoming homeless.
“These are the same people who are for late-term abortions,” he declared. “Who take a child who is viable outside of the womb and willing to slaughter them. Now tell me how is that consistent?”
Varney, meanwhile, said he was “appalled” at the Democrats’ attempts to “talk down to a man of such accomplishment,” adding that he was glad Carson came to Fox to “refute that rudeness.”
This prompted Carson to insist that the House Financial Committee Democrats were using the tactics of one of the right’s most-invoked bogeyman.
“If you read Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, that is exactly what they’re doing,” he said. “Look at rule 5 and rule 13. They don’t even know they’re being used.”
Those rules, for the record, are “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon” and “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."
“Fascinating, Mr. Secretary,” Varney concluded, adding that the way Carson was treated made it “hard to contain” himself.
Carson has long accused Democrats of adhering to “Alinsky tactics” and was particularly obsessed with that talking point during the 2016 Republican primaries. During his speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention, for example, he noted that Hillary Clinton wrote her college thesis on Alinsky while linking the community organizer and Clinton to the devil.