Ben Carson's HUD Confirmation Hearing

January 12, 2017 - Cecile Richards 01/12/2017 Views: 76,604

During Ben Carson's Senate confirmation hearing for secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the retired neurosurgeon used a roundabout rationale for being qualified. (5:25)

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Now... in justa couple of weeks.

Donald Trump is goingto be running the country.

Uh, well, he's going to bethe president, I should say,

because he's goingto let other people

do the actual runningof the country.

Because you know Trump

is gonna delegate the (bleep)out of his job. He told us.

And today, one cabinet nomineewho faced special concerns

about his qualificationswas Dr. Ben Carson.

-(laughter) -Yes, uh, DonaldTrump has nominated Ben Carson

to be the Secretary of Housingand Urban Development.

And there are some peoplewho think this is an odd fit

for a surgeonwith no government experience.

Uh, something Dr. Carsonacknowledged right off the bat.

Now, you say, "Well... that allsounds great and wonderful,

"but you werea pediatric neurosurgeon.

"How could you haveanything wonderful to say

about any of these things?"

There is an assumption thatyou can only do one thing,

and that we havethese very limited brains

and they're incapableof learning anything else.

I... I find that, uh,kind of humorous,

particularly knowing whatthe human brain is capable of.

Billions of neurons,hundreds of billions

of interconnections, can processmore than two million bits

of information in one second.

Any brain can do that.


I'm sorry, you guys, you can'tbeat Ben Carson in an argument.

No, because he knows the brain.

And every argument,he can bring back to the brain.

You'll say, "Dr. Carson,I have a different idea,"

and then he'll be like...


But where, but where...

The-the question is

where did, uh,the idea come from?

The brain. And as you can see,

the brain is something that hasbillions of neurons and...

-And on the thing...-(laughter)


-I feel like...-(cheers and applause)

I feel like that's Ben-BenCarson's go-to for anything.

He just does thatfor everything in life.

He's on the phonewith Time Warner,

"Knowing what I know about themedulla oblongata... "

It's like, all right, all right.

We'll give you free Cinemax.

Just stop it, stop it.

But, but okay, fine.

Other than both having a brainand knowing how it works,

what makes Ben Carson think

he can lead a hugefederal agency

that he doesn't knowvery much about?

One of the things that I learnedin my private life

as a board member at Kelloggfor 18 years,

and Costco for 16 years,

is how to select a good CEO.

And I'll tell you,a good CEO

doesn't necessarily knoweverything about the business.

He's not a marketing specialist.

He may not bea financial specialist.

There are many thingsthat he doesn't know,

but he knows howto pick those people

and how to use them.

And that is one of the marksof good leadership.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa,Dr. Carson, I'm-I'm confused.

I thought Donald Trumpwas the hands-off CEO.

But you're now alsothe hands-off CEO?

No, no, no.Think about it.

Donald Trump said he doesn'tknow how to do the job

but he'll make surehe'll hire the best.

Now Dr. Carson saysthat he doesn't know the job

but he'll make sureto hire the best.

How far downdoes this (bleep) go?

Who actually knowshow to do the job?

(cheers and applause)

What? Is someone in theWhite House gonna be, like,

"Well, we've got this intern,super qualified.

"Who? Who is it?

It's, uh, Hillary Clinton,she can do anything.

She can, she cando the whole thing, actually.

She can do the whole thing.

But theSenate Confirmation Committee,

they had a...

they had a few interestingfollow-up questions

for Ben Carson.

My concern is whether or not,

among the billions of dollars

that you will be responsible

for handing outin grants and loans,

can you just assure us

that not one dollar

will go to benefit

either the president-elector his family?

It will not be my intentionto do anything

to-to benefit any...any American.

-No. No.-(laughter)

I feel like you overcorrectedthere, Ben.


No, no, no.No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

I'm-I'm-I'm being unfair,I'm being unfair.

This... No, no.

Wait. I'm being unfair.

I'm being unfair,I'm being unfair.

It's funny,but this is the full quote.

This is the full quote.

It will not be my intentionto do anything

to-to benefit any...any American.

WARREN:I understand that.

It's for all Americans,everything that we do.

You see, like, the thing is,

Ben Carson speaks so slow

that, like, every sentence

is an emotional rollercoaster.

I wouldn't want to have himas my doctor.

It's just like, excuse me, ma'am

your children... dyed...


their hair...

-before they were killed...-(gasps)

in a car...-(gasps)

...toon I drew. No!

Why are you doing this?

I know Trump's probablygonna destroy the world,

but you know what?

At least Carson's gonnamake it fun on the way out.