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Over the past year, Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) has made a name for herself by showing up to House hearings with a basic understanding of the simple facts of topics at hand. In doing so, she embarrasses the government and corporate officials called upon to testify (who, it should go without saying, should have a basic understanding of the same simple facts).
Porter’s latest victim is Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who didn’t know the term for properties that have been foreclosed on.
Carson was on Capitol Hill testifying before the House Committee on Financial Services as part of its oversight of his agency. During the hearing, Porter asked Carson if he knew what REO stood for, which is short for “real estate owned.”
“An Oreo?” asked the head of housing in America before Porter went on to explain the term to him. People applauded Porter for showing Carson’s ignorance on a topic his agency is ostensibly supposed to be knowledgeable about.
Saw this all over twitter but it is still startling to watch https://t.co/XfUbZyBZDJ— Nick Riccardi (@NickRiccardi) May 21, 2019
she looked him dead in the face and said "what's the o stand for."— Jessica Huseman (@JessicaHuseman) May 21, 2019
it seems like every time Porter is at a hearing, we see another one of these clips of her schooling the witness, but today it's a cabinet secretary and particularly cringe-y to watch https://t.co/SNTQuXDZqY— Jessica Yarvin (@jyarvin) May 21, 2019
C'mon. It's not fair to expect the secretary of housing in the Trump administration to understand a basic issue of real estate. https://t.co/XOr7UxZERb— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) May 21, 2019
But what they really were interested in was her description of Oreos.
Although accurate, I don’t like the way you described an Oreo as a chocolate sandwich cookie... https://t.co/43rYH3rpnu— Stay Dangerous 🅱️ TMC 🇹🇹🏁 (@Cool_Mintz) May 21, 2019
This is awesome.— rd (@rd110180) May 21, 2019
But I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone refer to an OREO as a chocolate sandwich cookie.
Update 3:35pm CT, May 21: Secretary Ben Carson responded to the viral video with a picture of himself and some cookies, saying he would send some Porter’s way.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]