President-elect Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he is “seriously considering” retired neurosurgeon and former Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson to be the next HUD Secretary.
In an interview with Fox News's Neil Cavuto on Tuesday, Carson confirmed that he had been offered the job, saying that the position of HUD Secretary “was one of the offers that's on the table.”
Carson, who was raised in the inner city of Detroit, told Cavuto that the inner cities are in "terrible shape" and need "real attention."
"You know, there have been so many promises made over the last several decades, and nothing has been done," Carson said. "So it certainly is something that has been a long-term interest of mine. And I'll be thinking and praying about it seriously."
— Fox News (@FoxNews) November 22, 2016
Trump’s announcement that he was considering Carson to lead HUD came as a surprise to many because Carson reportedly said on November 15 that he does not want to serve in the Trump Administration.
Carson ally Armstrong Williams told The Hill last week, “Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he's never run a federal agency. The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency."
I am seriously considering Dr. Ben Carson as the head of HUD. I've gotten to know him well--he's a greatly talented person who loves people!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016
On November 21, however, Carson told Fox News that he would give “very serious consideration” if he were offered a cabinet position in the Trump Administration. He explained his position via Facebook later that same day, saying, “There is no reversal of my position in terms of working with the Trump administration. I have always made it clear that I preferred to work outside of the government as an advisor, but if called upon, I would serve inside of the government. I believe it is important to have voices that are outside of the administration combating media bias and the divisiveness that has infected our country.”
While Carson does not have any experience with housing policy or with serving in government, he has previously spoken out about housing policy. In 2015, Carson wrote an editorial for the Washington Times criticizing an Obama Administration triumph, HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, which Carson said was “designed to ‘desegregate’ housing by withholding funds from communities that fail to demonstrate their projects ‘affirmatively further’ fair housing.”
Carson pointed out that mandated busing following the landmark Brown v. The Board of Education decision failed to make any progress toward integrating schools, and he does not believe the AFFH will fare any better.
“These government-engineered attempts to legislate racial equality create consequences that often make matters worse,” Carson wrote in the Washington Times. “There are reasonable ways to use housing policy to enhance the opportunities available to lower-income citizens, but based on the history of failed socialist experiments in this country, entrusting the government to get it right can prove downright dangerous.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) November 21, 2016