“I know what it’s like to actually be sleepy.”
A day earlier, Carson appeared at a House Financial Services Committee hearing, where he remained placid as Democrat after Democrat bashed him over federal housing policy.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., took a particularly aggressive tack during her questioning. She accused Carson of being “unqualified” for his job and of “carrying the water of what of what I believe to be one of the most morally bankrupt presidencies in our nation’s history, increasing rifts, evicting families.”
Pressley went on to berate Carson to answer “yes or no” regarding whether poor housing conditions have a negative effect on residents’ health. When he refused to play along, she repeatedly reclaimed her time. Finally, Carson followed suit.
“Reclaiming my time,” he said.
“You don’t get to do that,” Pressley protested.
“Oh,” Carson responded.
After the hearing, Omar – who along with Pressely is part of the House’s left-wing freshman sorority – mocked Carson’s comments in a tweet.
“Not sure he was fully awake, maybe he meant to reclaim his time back to sleep,” she joked.
Near the start of the following workday, Carson delivered a relatively brutal Twitter-retort. What really used to make him tired, he said, was performing 18-hour surgeries on “babies in the womb” – something he suggested an abortion-rights supporter like Omar wouldn’t understand.
Since you brought it up… I know what it's like to actually be sleepy, especially after 18-hour surgeries and operating on babies in the womb. I hope @IlhanMN knows I care about all people, even those she doesn't recognize as having a right to life. https://t.co/BRl3ibSKM3
— Ben Carson (@SecretaryCarson) May 22, 2019
It was actually the second ruthless riposte by the somnolent former surgeon in as many days. During the hearing on Tuesday – the latest in a series of spicy House showdowns in recent weeks – he clapped back at Democrats’ complaints about a proposal to crack down on undocumented immigrants living in public housing.
“It seems only logical that tax-paying American citizens should be taken care of first,” Carson said. “It’s not that we’re cruel, mean-hearted. It’s that we are logical. This is common sense. You take care of your own first.”
- Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson./Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.: Screen grabs