Ben Carson's Housing Qualifications Are Lacking, Just Like His Political Ones
Ben Carson was once a candidate for president, but said through a spokesman in November that he was not qualified for a cabinet position in President-elect Donald Trump's administration. On Monday, despite having no housing qualifications, Carson was nominated to be the next secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Housing and Urban Development manages national policy and programs regarding fair and affordable housing, funding development, addressing homelessness, and "helping to create a decent home and suitable living environment for all Americans," according to the federal agency's website. To be fair, Carson does claim to be qualified for the role. "I grew up in the inner city and have spent a lot of time there, and have dealt with a lot of patients from that area and recognize that we cannot have a strong nation is we have weak inner cities," the neurosurgeon said during a Fox News interview on Nov. 22.
Strangely enough, while Carson was born in Detroit, reporting by CNN disputes his claim that he grew up in an impoverished neighborhood. "This has always been, I would say, a pretty decent neighborhood — people working, kids playing," Steve Choice, a neighbor from Carson's childhood who still lives on the same street, told CNN. But regardless of where Carson grew up, it seems bizarre that both he and Trump would consider living in a city, something that more than 80 percent of Americans do according to Census figures, a main qualification for such an important role as cabinet secretary.
Carson himself told the Washington Post he wanted to "work from the outside and not the inside," on Nov. 15. "I want to have the freedom to work on many issues and not be pigeonholed into one particular area," he said. But, just a little over a week later, Carson hinted at having a position in the Trump administration via a Facebook post. "After serious discussions with the Trump transition team, I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly to making our inner cities great for everyone," he wrote on Nov. 23. "We have much work to do in strengthening every aspect of our nation and ensuring that both our physical infrastructure and our spiritual infrastructure is solid. An announcement is forthcoming about my role in helping to make America great again."
Carson's last couple of years have been a wild ride. He ran for president with no political experience, then said he wouldn't accept a cabinet role because of said lack of experience, and then decided to accept Trump's offer to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Only time will tell how that plays out.