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Story highlights

Huckabee is a surrogate for Trump

Pelosi's office called his remarks "name calling"

(CNN) —  

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee slammed House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi for her comments on the decision to tap Ben Carson as head of Housing and Urban Development, asking if she is “racist or just dumb?”

Huckabee, who became a Trump surrogate after he dropped out of the 2016 Republican primary, tweeted on Monday, “Ben Carson is first HUD Sec to have actually lived in gov’t housing. Fancy Nancy Pelosi says he’s not qualified; is she racist or just dumb?”

A spokesman for Pelosi told CNN on Monday that “name-calling” is “beneath” Huckabee.

“This nomination is universally viewed as bizarre and the nominee is clearly unqualified. Name calling like this is beneath the dignity of even Governor Huckabee,” Drew Hammill told CNN in an email.

He added: “No one seriously thinks Ben Carson is qualified to do this job.”

Trump taps Ben Carson for HUD secretary

CNN contacted a spokesman for Carson to clarify whether he lived in government housing as Huckabee’s tweet claims – Carson’s spokesman sent a tweet from the retired neurosurgeon’s confidant Armstrong Williams.

Williams tweeted Monday, “Dr. Carson’s mother worked 3 jobs at a time to keep them out of public housing, but he grew up around many who utilized housing programs.”

In a statement released earlier on Monday, Pelosi said Carson is “a disconcerting and disturbingly unqualified choice” for HUD secretary, adding there is “no evidence that Dr. Carson brings the necessary credentials” to the role.

Carson has never held a government position and campaigned in the Republican presidential primary largely on his qualifications as a pediatric brain surgeon and his personal story.