Pope Francis was greeted with thunderous applause Thursday morning, both inside the House chamber where he spoke, and by the thousands of supporters gathered on the West Lawn outside the Capitol.
Several presidential candidates were present at the Catholic leader’s address to Congress—seven, to be exact. (Eight, if you include Vice President Joe Biden and believe the rumors.) And pretty much to a man, despite their ideological differences, all of the candidates present at the historic address voiced support for what the pope had to say. That is, when they could understand what he was saying.
The candidates that did speak up were careful to not ascribe political labels to the pope, while others shied away from speaking about his address at all. As of early Thursday afternoon, Sen. Rand Paul (who missed the address because he was "under the weather") and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who did attend the address, had not weighed in with their reactions.
Sen. Bernie Sanders
The pope is right in saying all of us must address the grotesque income and wealth inequality we are seeing throughout the world.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 24, 2015
In an interview after Pope Francis’s address, Sanders said the pope’s references to social justice stood out to him, and said he was “very impressed” by his reference to Dorothy Day, a Catholic socialist who founded the Catholic Worker Movement in 1933.