RUSH: So we have Il Papa hosting the president. Still not convinced that the president thought he was going on vacation. When they rolled up to the Vatican he said to the Secret Service (impersonation), "Where are we?" They said: "We're at the Vatican, sir."
"Oh, I thought it said 'vacation.' Oh. All right. Well, let's go in."
And there are two versions of what happened in the meeting between Il Papa and Obama. Of course now we're forced to have to make a choice as to who we believe. Obama says that he and the pope talked about -- it's just a coincidence -- things that Obama talks about: income inequality, contraception. The Vatican says that the pope kind of took Obama to school on the social issues and gave him some homework reading assignments. That's right.
There are two distinct, different versions of the meeting between the president and the pope. And as Dr. Krauthammer pointed out (paraphrasing), "Well, here we go, what do we have here? We've got a man who is the spiritual leader of a billion people who believes he is infallible versus a man who said, 'If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, and if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.' Who we gonna believe?" It kind of comes down to the pope, when you put it that way. (interruption) Well, no. No, the bloom is off the Messiah rose. I don't think there's anybody, well somebody, but, I mean, the number of people that think Obama's still this Messianic figure, that's all by the wayside.
RUSH: Andrew Malcolm writing at Investors.com: "President Obama, whose poll approval numbers hover weakly around 40% among Americans, met Thursday with Pope Francis, whose approval numbers among the same people are 76%. Now, you know why the [Obama] sought the meeting." He wanted to bask in the glow of the Vicar of Christ. "The two elected leaders exchanged gifts. The Vicar of Christ gave the ex-state senator a copy of his book, 'Evangelii Gaudium,' or 'The Joy of the Gospel.'
"The 44th president," and 1st American Messiah, "gave the head of the world's Roman Catholic Church a box of fruit and veg[table] seeds from his wife's garden." Did you know that? Did you just hear me say that? The pope gave Obama copy of his book, The Joy of the Gospel. The president gave the pope "a box of fruit and veg[table] seeds from his wife's garden.
"The first meeting of the new pope and lame-duck president was closely-watched because of the Democrat's concerted efforts to bring religious institutions to heel in his country, primarily through requirements of his botched Obamacare legislation forcing some to violate their conscience. ... According to Obama's version of the Vatican meeting, their discussions focused on poverty and income inequality, two concerns which, if true, would fit well with Obama's professed political programs domestically. ...
"On his papal discussions, Obama was vague on healthcare details. 'We actually didn’t talk a whole lot about social schisms in my conversations with His Holiness,' Obama claimed. 'In fact, that really was not a topic of conversation.' Obama stated that the pope 'did not touch in detail' on his Affordable Care Act. Note the fudge words 'in detail.'" Obama said the pope "did not touch in detail" on Obamacare.
"The Vatican's version of the Obama encounter was strikingly different. The two men had a 'cordial meeting,' a spokesman said. Importantly, their talks involved 'a discussion on questions of particular relevance for the church in that country, such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection.'
"Neither side mentioned the Obama administration's legal prosecution of the Little Sisters of the Poor for the nuns' opposition to birth control mandates. And the Vatican version said nothing about the alleged Obama-Pope Francis income inequality [discussion]." What do you bet that they didn't discuss income inequality? What do you bet? Look, we have two completely different versions of what happened here. We really do.
Obama came out and made it sound like the conversation was all about Obama's political agenda and how much the pope is in favor of it, indirectly.
RUSH: As I observed yesterday, isn't this interesting. Here's President Obama, he shows up at the Vatican yesterday, spends, well, a few minutes with the pope, the media's all over it. They want to know everything that was said. What did Obama say? What did the pope say? What did the president say when the pope said what he said and what did Obama say when the pope said what he said? What did the pope say when Obama said what he said? All this happened in less than two hours, and yet for 20 years Barack Obama was in Reverend Wright's church and not any interest whatsoever in what Obama heard in that church. I find it fascinating.
Let's go to the audio sound bites. This whole notion of income inequality and so forth, Obama comes out and says basically we talked about my political agenda. He didn't use those words, but income inequality and all these other things are Obama's agenda. You know what Obama knows? I'm gonna tell you what I think Obama and his handlers think. I'm a little out on a limb here. Actually, Friday, I do want to start with sound bites four and five, instead of skipping them. I am admittedly out on a limb here. I'm going to tell you what I think based on my intelligence guided by experience, coupled with how flawlessly I am able to perceive, understand, know, and predict liberals.
The pope's at 76% approval; Obama's sitting there at barely 40% and plunging. Twenty-six percent approval for his signature piece of government reform legislation. So in a major twist -- it used to be that world figures wanted to get near Obama and bask in his light and benefit by association. Yesterday it was the other way around. It was Obama attempting to bask in the light of the pope. But I don't think Obama has much love for Christianity, the Catholic Church. I say that based simply on his total disregard for their religious beliefs when it comes his health care plan, and particularly abortifacients and contraception. It seems like Obama is enjoying sticking them in the eye. And I think as is the case with a lot of leftists, the Catholic Church is reviled and hated because you can't move 'em.
They are not a political organization that responds to external pressure and either modifies, modernizes, changes, or what have you, according to the political and cultural mores of the day. The church is what it is. The left hasn't been able to move it at all on the things that they think are crucial to eliminating all judgment. They haven't been able to move 'em on female priests, priest marriage, gay marriage, abortion, you name it, the church doesn't move. Even this latest pope, when they thought they had a reformer 'cause the guy's out there spouting economic policy that is very much collectivism, "Oh, wow, maybe we got a guy we can work with here," and he's not working with 'em.
So I think there's some resentment. I don't think there's any doubt about that, but Obama's still gotta bow down and go in there because he's in deep trouble. But I also think that they really believe that they can come out after this meeting and characterize it however they want, and the Vatican's not really going to embarrass them by calling them liars or maybe even something softer. They figure that the Vatican will put out their version, but they don't think the Vatican will pick a fight with 'em. They don't think Pope Francis will pick a fight, so Obama can say, "Oh, yeah, we talked about income inequality and poverty and raising the minimum wage, and the Tea Party," whatever else he wants to say that they talked about. He knows that the Vatican is gonna put out their version, it may be totally different, but they're not gonna pick a fight.
Obama knows he's got the domestic media on his side so whatever he says happened in there they'll dutifully report and he'll carry the day. And it didn't work, and it didn't work because Obama and the Democrats and his political party today have nowhere near the moral stature of Pope Francis, nowhere near the moral stature of the Catholic Church. And they know it. And it frosts them, I think. I think it really, really bugs them.
Now, we've got a couple of telling sound bites from Obama. While Diane Sawyer was speaking with Chris Christie for seven minutes on a five-month-old story about Bridgegate, Scott Pelley, CBS Evening News, was interviewing Obama, and they aired it today on CBS This Morning. We got two bites. Scott Pelley said, "Can you give me a sense of what it's like to be in the presence of Pope Francis?" Now, do you think that question irritates Obama? Do you think Obama says to himself, "What are you talking about? Why aren't you asking the pope what it's like to be in my presence?" But of course you can't say that. So he takes the question, sees it as an opportunity to portray the pope as Obama wants the pope to be seen, i.e., a fellow Democrat. Here's how the first sound bite sounds.
OBAMA: He's a wonderful man. He projects the kind of humility and kindness that is consistent with my understanding, at least, of Jesus' teachings. He seems to have a good sense of humor. I think that his simplicity and his belief in the power of the spiritual over material reflects itself in everything that he says and does. And I suspect, my sense is is that he's a little bit uncomfortable with all the trappings of being pope.
RUSH: Really? Well, we know that Obama's not the slightest bit uncomfortable with the trappings of being president. He'll think nothing of taking 900 people to The Hague. What did I see, 45 automobiles to get his entourage around, and nine airplanes? I got the number nine in my head. I know it's 900 people. Now, this bit about the pope, "My sense is that pope, a little bit uncomfortable with all the trappings." He doesn't have to have any sense of it; that's been reported.
From the first week of Pope Francis' papacy, he made it plain he didn't like the trappings. He went out and walked amongst the people without the Popemobile. He didn't move into the papal apartments, which are lavish and very luxurious. Obama didn't sense anything. All he's gotta do is be told by people that read the news that the pope has eschewed all that stuff. But you see how Obama, given the question, wants to be able to portray the pope as just another Democrat. So Pelley, after hearing Obama say, "My sense is he's a little uncomfortable with all the trappings of being pope," Pelley said, "Embarrassed by them, do you think?"
OBAMA: Well, you know, that's not his style, and that is part of why, I think, he has been so embraced around the world. Because people get a sense that, first and foremost, he sees himself as a priest and as a disciple of Christ and as somebody who is concerned with, you know, the least of these, and, you know, nothing's more powerful than someone who seems to live out their convictions.
RUSH: So Pelley was desperate to know if the pope was embarrassed by the trappings. Does he live like the Koch brothers, Mr. President? Is his house as nice as the Koch brothers'? Does he walk around, does he dress the way the Koch brothers dress? Is he embarrassed by it all? Is he like a typical rich Republican? And Obama: Oh, no, no, no, no. One of the reasons he's been so embraced is that he's got a sense, first and foremost, he's a priest.
So now we go to Fox News and Bill Hemmer, this is yesterday. He spoke with Fox News analyst Father Jonathan Morris about Obama's meeting with the pope. And Hemmer said, "Fifty-two minutes, it went longer than some people expected. What's your sense about how this conversation would have gone with each man?"
MORRIS: The Vatican released a summary, and it was a surprising summary. What did they say about things in the United States? That the pope expressed concern about "religious liberty." We know what he's talking about there. About "conscientious objection," we know what he's talking about there. He also talked about "immigration reform." Those are pretty clear things, as well as "human trafficking." But those are hot-button issues, I would say, not expected by most journalists.
RUSH: Absolutely not expected by most journalists because most journalists expect to believe Obama's version, which is they talked about things that matter to Obama, and this is what I mean. The pope, the Vatican put out their own version of things. They didn't pick a fight with Obama. The Regime puts out what happened and the Vatican puts out their version of it.
Nobody's calling anybody a liar here, but it's now a question of who do you believe, and there's no contest when it comes to that. So the pope expressed concern about "religious liberty," and Father Morris said, "Well, we know what that's about," and we do. That's Obamacare, Hobby
Lobby, any number of things involving birth control pills and conception and religious freedom being denied.
"Conscientious objection," we know what that's about, and "immigration reform," and then Hemmer said, "Well, there was a book that was given to Obama, right? It's the pope's encyclical, and there's a statement in there, a phrase or quote on behalf of the pope, who says, 'It's not a progressive position to take a human life.' I'm paraphrasing, but that's essentially what it says: 'It's not a progressive to take a human life.'"
That, folks... What do you call that? The pope gives Obama a book that makes that point, has that paraphrased passage. That's kind of a slap. "Well, look, I know you're a liberal. I know you're 'progressive.' But there's nothing progressive, there's nothing far-reaching, there's nothing modern, there's nothing cool and nothing hip about taking a life," and here is Father Jonathan Morris' reply...
MORRIS: "It's not progressive to solve problems by taking human life," and the pope gave this to him basically as reading material, and President Obama responded by saying, "I will probably read this in the Oval Office." I don't know if that was a nervous or uncomfortable response to a rather surprising thing, the pope giving you reading material. But he also, in that document, talks about some of the things that they agree on, including making sure that we don't just go to kind of a radical capitalism that leaves aside the poor. So they do share quite a few things. But the pope did not pull any punches, that's for sure.
RUSH: Yeah, "radical capitalism that leaves aside the poor." Radical capitalism. Well, anyway, that's basically a summation. Now we'll go to domestic analysis of all this with just a couple of more sound bites.
RUSH: Can somebody tell me where "radical capitalism" is practiced? Does anybody know where there is "radical capitalism" happening? Father John Morris described it as "a radical capitalism that leaves aside the poor." It ain't us. How many trillions of dollars have been transferred from the producers to the poor in this country just since 1964?
It's a shocking number.
It's like $10 trillion that we've spent folks. Nobody leaves the poor aside. Anyway, Juan Williams was not happy with the Vatican version of things. Not happy at all. He was on Special Report last night, the All-Star Panel, and Chris Wallace said, "Juan, you think that in a sense that these were two world leaders each trying to accentuate the positive to their home base?"
WILLIAMS: This is a tale of polarized American politics being superimposed on a meeting between the pope and the president. What we have is a situation where the Vatican puts out a statement that was probably written before the meeting, Chris, that was influenced by the American bishops who wanted a statement that would touch on these controversial issues and help them here at home.
RUSH: Oh! I get it. So Juan Williams thinks that the American bishops somehow hijacked the Vatican's version. The American bishops went in there and they wrote the Vatican version of the meeting of the pope and Obama before the meeting took place, to make sure that their domestic anti-Obamacare agenda was in the Vatican's version. The American bishops somehow went there hijacked the Vatican version. They wrote it without the pope knowing and without anybody in the pope's office knowing before Obama even got there.
Next up, Dr. Krauthammer. Chris Wallace said, "So Charles, any questions, any comments about this?"
KRAUTHAMMER: On the one hand, you've got the bishop of Rome, the Holy See, of whom a billion coreligionists believe in his infallibility. On the other hand, you've got a man who said, "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan."
FOX ALL STARS: (laughter)
KRAUTHAMMER: "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." So who are you gonna choose?
RUSH: It's an excellent point. (laughing) You got the pope; he's infallible to a billion people. On the other hand, you got a guy who said, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." Even the normally reserved and buttoned-down Fox All Stars had to let go with some laughter. But don't you just love these conspiracy theories?
"Yeah, the American bishops, they hijacked the Vatican report! They went in there and they wrote it before the meeting even took place. That's what had to happen, 'cause there's no way that our young president could possibly be embarrassed this way for real. The bishops did it!" By the way, the question of playing to their home base, the bishops playing to their base, their political base, and the pope playing to his base?
It is the American media which is trying to attach American politics to the Catholic Church, not the other way around, and that's the problem. The American left has been trying to attach its politics to the church and influence the church to change, and the church has told 'em to go pound sand for decades, and the American left is hell-bent. They think the church is just another political organization.
They've just gotta keep working on and working on, and, meanwhile... I'm sure the pope is mindful of politics. Don't misunderstand. But it's not that the pope's gotta "play to his base." I mean, he's "elected," yeah, but by the College of Cardinals, and there is no impeachment or having to run for reelection. I mean, to compare these two guys as "two elected leaders"? There's no comparison in these two in that sense.