Bernie Sanders Has Criticized Ben Carson For His Policies, So He's Probably Not Thrilled About His HUD Appointment
Well, it's official: Dr. Ben Carson has accepted President-elect Donald Trump's offer to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, otherwise known as HUD. It'd been rumored early in the transition process that Carson was up for a cabinet post, but the speculation was tamped down after Carson reportedly withdrew himself from consideration, citing a lack of governmental experience. But now he's back, and as such, some people are wondering what Democratic Party leaders think of him. For example ― what does Bernie Sanders think of Carson?
While you might assume that Sanders wouldn't have had much occasion to talk about Carson, he actually did address the retired neurosurgeon's campaign during the primaries, both defending him from inquiries and doubts over details of his personal biography, and condemning him for some of his hard-right policy positions, specifically on health care, taxes, and climate change. Here's what Sanders told NBC News' Chuck Todd, on a November 2012 episode of Meet The Press.
When you look at Dr. Carson, to the best of my knowledge, this man does not believe that climate change is caused by human activity. This man wants to abolish Medicare, impacting tens of millions of seniors, and this man wants to give huge tax breaks to the rich. I think it might be a better idea, I know it's a crazy idea, but maybe we focus on the issues impacting the American people and what candidates are saying, rather than just spending so much time exploring their lives of thirty or forty years ago.
In other words, while Sanders was sympathetic to Carson regarding the media's interest in his backstory ― a backstory that was also pilloried and attacked by then GOP frontrunner and now President-elect Trump ― he was none too charitable when it came to Carson's policies. And while he hasn't offered any comment yet on the news of Carson accepting Trump's invitation, it stands to reason that his fundamental objections haven't changed, because it's not as though Carson is any less of a climate change denier now than late last year.
Carson's views on climate change might not impact much from his perch at HUD chief, though his views on economic fairness and inequality certainly could. For what it's worth, however, he's not fully in the clear just yet. That's because HUD secretary is a position that requires Senate approval, meaning Carson will have to be approved before he can serve. That probably won't be much of a problem, however, owing to the current Republican senate majority.