Hours after president-elect Donald Trump nominated Ben Carson as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the former Republican presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon accepted the position, according to a tweet by Dan Scavino, a senior advisor and director of social media for Trump.
“I am honored to accept the opportunity to serve our country in the Trump administration,” read the Tweet, attributed to Carson, at the Trump Tower Atrium, the New York offices of the president elect.
About an hour before the confirmation, Trump tweeted that he was “thrilled to nominate” Carson for the job, and released a statement on Facebook saying that “Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities. We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities.”
“Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a presidency representing all Americans,” he added. “He is a tough competitor and never gives up.”
Previously, Carson had turned down a cabinent position in the Trump administration.
The 65-year-old retired neurosurgeon will now oversee an agency with a $47 billion budget, and he has made it clear that he opposes government intervention in long-entrenched issues of inequality including segregation in housing and schools, calling it “social engineering.” In his autobiography he stressed that individual effort, not government programs, were the key to overcoming poverty.
The Times reports that he has no expertise in housing policy, but he did spend part of his childhood in public housing, said a close friend, Armstrong Williams (is that like, “I’m not a doctor but spent the night at a Holiday Inn?”)
The Department of Housing and Urban Development oversees programs that provide vouchers and other rental assistance for five million low-income families, fights urban blight and helps struggling homeowners stave off foreclosures.
Many are not thrilled with the appointment, saying Carson has absolutely no government experience nor has he run a large bueracracy. They sounded off on Twitter.
But others, like President Obama’s estranged brother Malik Obama, say it’s all good.
SOURCE: New York Times, Twitter