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Former HUD Chiefs Split on Carson Appointment

Phil Hall
Dec 29, 2016

Two former Secretaries of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are offering very different opinions on Dr. Ben Carson’s ability to run the federal agency.

According to a Dallas News report, Alphonso Jackson, who was HUD Secretary in the second term of George W. Bush’s administration, praised the retired neurosurgeon for having the right personality for the job.

“We need someone who is sensitive and compassionate but at the same time very stern,” Jackson said. “I can't think of a better person to do that than Ben. He's extremely compassionate and he really cares about the inner cities … His intelligence is phenomenal. He's a quick learner. He's a good listener. And he's a good manager.”

Jackson added that he was more curious about President-Elect Donald Trump’s housing agenda, which has yet to be spelled out.

“I am just not sure what our president-elect wants out of housing,” Jackson continued. “He clearly wants to address many of the issues in the urban area. If that is his intent, they're going to have to allocate more money toward HUD to address the issues that are in our inner cities.”

A less positive view of Dr. Carson was offered by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who served as HUD Secretary in Bill Clinton’s administration from 1997 to 2001.

“I don’t know that a doctor has a natural proclivity to housing and urban development policy,” said Cuomo in an interview with the New York Observer, a newspaper published by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. “But maybe I’m wrong … By some of President Trump’s appointees, I believe there is questions. Some have very little experience in the area, some the experience they do have is troubling. I hope the Senate, the U.S. Senate does a diligent job in vetting them before they are confirmed. And I think the Senate should take this very seriously, and really question these nominees.”

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