After commenting last week that he is unqualified to run a federal agency, former GOP presidential nominee Ben Carson has reversed his stance and is reportedly considering the position as the head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Armstrong Williams, a spokesman for Carson, confirmed to The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that the former presidential nominee and retired neurosurgeon is “seriously considering” accepting the post of HUD Secretary.
@RealDonaldTrump is considering @RealBenCarson for a cabinet post. Dr. Carson is prayerfully & seriously considering. How humbling!
— Armstrong Williams (@Arightside) November 23, 2016
The announcement arrives almost 24 hours after President-Elect Donald Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday, saying that he was “seriously considering” Carson to assume the position within the Administration.
Yesterday it was unclear whether Carson would accept the role of HUD Secretary—the second cabinet position offered to him by Trump, the first being the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
In declining that offer earlier this month, Williams commented to The Hill on behalf of Carson that, “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.”
But on Wednesday, Carson seemed to have changed his mind, taking to Twitter to write that an “announcement is forthcoming in helping to make America great again,” referencing the slogan synonymous with Trump’s presidential campaign.
An announcement is forthcoming about my role in helping to make America great again. https://t.co/jGRyzFRBAK
— Dr. Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson) November 23, 2016
Aside from his presidential run, Carson does not have much political experience, the WSJ noted.
“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,” Carson wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “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.”
As HUD Secretary, Carson would be responsible for an agency with a budget of $47.9 billion and an estimated 8,400 employees, according to the WSJ.
Additionally, Carson would also be tasked with overseeing the Federal Housing Administration’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, which recently reported an economic value of approximately $35 billion for FHA’s forward mortgage business and a value of negative $7.7 billion in the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage portfolio in fiscal year 2016.
Written by Jason Oliva