Democratic Lawmaker Says Ben Carson Should Admit He's Not Qualified And Withdraw

The retired neurosurgeon is as prepared to be HUD secretary as a pilot who didn't go to flight school, says Rep. Ted Lieu.
Even Ben Carson has said that he lacks the experience for a Cabinet job.
Even Ben Carson has said that he lacks the experience for a Cabinet job.
Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun/Reuters

WASHINGTON ― A Democratic congressman is calling on Ben Carson to withdraw his nomination as secretary of housing and urban development because of his utter lack of qualifications for the job.

“Remember the famous commercial where a man is flying a helicopter and reveals he’s not a pilot but he did ‘stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night’? Trump’s nomination of Dr. Ben Carson to lead HUD reminds me of that commercial,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) said in a statement on Monday. “’Do you have any experience running a large federal agency or knowledge of housing and urban development?’ ‘No, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.’”

Here’s that commercial:

Lieu made his comments just hours after President-elect Donald Trump tapped Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who has never held public office, to oversee the nation’s housing policy. Carson had previously said through a spokesman that he doesn’t consider himself qualified to run a federal agency.

The congressman said the nomination “would actually be funny if it weren’t so tragic.” Among other programs, HUD oversees efforts to fight housing discrimination and aid homeless veterans.

“I call on Dr. Carson to do the right thing, follow his own prior statements which indicated he wasn’t qualified to lead a federal agency, and withdraw,” Lieu said. “America is the greatest nation on earth. We are not a TV reality show or a funny commercial.”

The Trump transition team did not respond to a request for comment.

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