Acronyms relating to his job apparently aren't Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson's strong suit. When asked about the common term REO during a testy House Financial Services Committee hearing Tuesday, a confused Carson thought Democratic Rep. Katie Porter was talking about Oreo cookies, the Washington Post reports. "An Oreo?" he asked. When Porter spelled out R-E-O, Carson offered "real estate organization." The term stands for "real estate owned" and refers to foreclosed-upon properties owned by a lender. Later, when asked by Rep. Joyce Beatty if his department had an OMWI—Office of Minority and Women Inclusion—Carson misheard the term as "Amway." He also failed to answer when asked if he would let his grandmother live in public housing.
Carson later made light of the Oreo error, tweeting a picture of cookies he was sending to Porter's office and saying he was "enjoying a few post-hearing snacks." Porter confirmed that she had received a family-size box of cookies from Carson and said that while she was "pleased to receive correspondence" from him, she would have preferred real answers to her questions about high foreclosure rates at the Federal Housing Authority. "I was asking serious questions about serious problems that Americans are facing," she told CNN Tuesday night. "The foreclosure rate continues to exist at FHA and the foreclosure proceedings and processes have been bad for over 15 years I worked on the issue. I was coming with a series of serious questions and I was hoping to get serious answers." (Read more Ben Carson stories.)