Marco Rubio says Pope Francis isn’t for “freedom”

Erstwhile Catholic, Baptist and Mormon — and likely 2016 GOP presidential candidate — Marco Rubio thinks Pope Francis isn’t a friend of “freedom.”

Rubio expressed his rather lengthy scolding of the Catholic pontiff today after President Obama revealed a Pope-brokered plan for the United States to resume diplomatic relations with Cuba.

“I would also ask His Holiness to take up the cause of freedom and democracy, which is critical for a free people — for a people to truly be free,” Rubio told reporters, according to TPM.


Barack Obama and Marco Rubio.

“I think the people of Cuba deserve the same chances to have democracy as the people of Argentina have had, where he comes from; as the people of Italy have, where he now lives. Obviously the Vatican’s its own state, but very nearby. My point is I hope that people with that sort of prestige on the world stage will take up the cause of freedom and democracy.”

Because the Pope isn’t? That’s clearly Rubio’s point.

The Cuban-American Senator has had a troubled relationship with the Catholic church.

While growing up initially Catholic, Rubio then became a Mormon, then switched back to Catholicism, then became a Southern Baptist and a Catholic, then left the Baptists and simply became a Catholic, then he became a Baptist again, then a Catholic again, all the while technically remaining a Mormon.

So it remains unclear which religion Rubio is now speaking on behalf of when he excoriates Pope Francis for not being a friend of freedom. All I know is that this likely won’t go over well with Latino voters, who are overwhelmingly Catholic, and unlike Mr. Rubio, actually like their pope.

If you want to be president, don’t mess with a guy who has a 67% approval rating.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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44 Responses to “Marco Rubio says Pope Francis isn’t for “freedom””

  1. caphillprof says:

    Since 1975 and counting. Have you?

  2. oddjob says:

    Or Mitt Romney…

  3. Duke Woolworth says:

    And the Fox News cold warriors, when somebody pokes their nest.

  4. Duke Woolworth says:

    I’m not a doctor, and don’t play one on tv, but used to play doctor with my cousin when we were six. I diagnose religious ADHD. Like my hero Dr. Frist, I’m doing it from 1300 miles away.

  5. angryspittle says:

    Rubio is a damn clown. Cruz, Farenthold, Gohmert, Miss Graham, Steve King, Joni Ernst, ………..Jesus, the GOP needs to trade in that car for a bus, or better yet a cruise ship.

  6. dcinsider says:

    Ever been to DC?

  7. caphillprof says:

    The people of Florida have the right to elect any fool they want.

    But, the rest of us have a right to laugh and call them out for what they are.

  8. caphillprof says:

    Imagine, if you will, a police state but with Dunkin Donuts.

  9. caphillprof says:

    He’s a fake. He plays a Senator on television.

    And very badly.

  10. benb says:

    I remember when Marco Rubio spent…I dunno.. an entire month or so last year writing the GOP’s immigration thing only–later– to have to oppose his own bill. I just can’t listen to people who don’t believe in what they believe in.

  11. PDQ says:

    He sounds like George Herbert Walker Bush, who never met a position he didn’t like.

  12. vickif says:

    I always have orange juice with my breakfast. Maybe it’s an Illinois thing.

  13. 2karmanot says:

    God bless his lil’ pea-picken heart!

  14. gratuitous says:

    You may think the buttering toast example is too far out there, but remember in April 2008 when Candidate Obama ordered his breakfast with orange juice instead of good old, all-American coffee? Chris Matthews nearly had kittens!

    So yeah, it’s about fucking time Democrats quit worrying about the predictable-as-rain-in-Oregon hissy fits from the Republicans, Fox News, and 10 old farts in Miami. You’re never going to win them over, Democratic office holders. Govern in a way that pleases the people who elected you to office; it’ll be a refreshing change.

  15. 2patricius2 says:

    Rubio has a lot of trouble with facts. He maintained (till confronted with the facts) that his parents fled Castro’s Cuba, though they actually came to this country several years before the revolution. They came in 1956 when Castro was living in Mexico. Castro took over in 1959. Rubio’s problem is that he blows like a leaf – going this way and that – depending on which direction the wind is blowing at the time. One could even say he has no core, no spine.

  16. dcinsider says:

    Our Cuban policy for 50 years was dictated by a neighborhood in Miami. Now Obama recognizes that perhaps basing our Cuban policy on what a small neighborhood in Miami thinks is not the best way to develop foreign policy.

    Basically, it is the moral equivalent of defining our nation’s interests in Great Britain and Ireland by what people in South Boston think.

    I get the politics of Florida in the Presidential elections, but the Cuban-American community lost their clout when they went all in with the Republicans. Democrats have little concern for pissing them off anymore, and most Young Cuban-Americans favor normalization of relations.

    So, once again, the Republicans (most) are defining their political positions by the Fox News over 65 demographic, while missing the rest of the country (see marriage equality).

  17. dcinsider says:

    I do declare!

  18. dcinsider says:

    This nails it. We don’t need to invade anyone by military force, we just need to send in KFC and McDonald’s and they are taken over by our culture.

    One Dunkin Donuts in downtown Havana and Castro is toast!

  19. mononucleosis says:

    Marco. I think you just stepped over the line.
    God’s gonna’ get you for dissing the Pope.
    And it doesn’t matter how many different churches you belong to – you’re gonna’ roast.

  20. John Masters says:

    It would be the only ball sack he’d ever be carrying.

  21. Indigo says:

    Because theologian! Oh, yeah! Whadda dummie!

  22. rmthunter says:

    Why does anyone care what a junior American senator has to say about anything?

  23. AdmNaismith says:

    ‘The only people that give a crap about the Cuba sanctions are
    a few die hard anti-castro activists in the Miami area.’


  24. FLL says:

    Yes, good comparison, although Crist has no children.

  25. Houndentenor says:

    Perhaps Charlie Crist is a better comparison. Crist even remarried even though everyone (especially everyone in Florida) seems to know he’s gay.

  26. FLL says:

    I think Raúl Castro is a bit ahead of Lindsey Graham on this one. Raúl married a woman and has children. He neither verifies nor denies being gay, although everyone knows that he is. He just prefers not to talk about his personal life. Lindsey Graham has never married and has no children, but I believe he insists that he’s straight, thus earning the Grand Prize for comedy.

  27. Houndentenor says:

    If the cuban vote wasn’t crucial for Republicans hoping to win in Florida, we’d have re-opened diplomatic relations with Cuba by the mid 80s. (If not sooner.)

  28. Houndentenor says:

    Why on earth would a pope care what a junior American senator has to say about anything?

  29. Houndentenor says:

    LOL For a second there I thought you were going to be talking about Lindsey Graham. *snork*

  30. Baal says:

    Can’t this guy see that opening Cuba up to Big Macs and the Kardashians is likely to bring down the Castros quicker than the process we have used for the last half-century.

  31. Daniel Ryan says:

    The only reason Rubio or any other certain people are flipping out is because this happened while Obama was in office. The fact that Pope Francis was involved is just icing on the outrage cake. I feel safe in saying the solid bulk of Americans feel this was long overdue.

  32. Ty Morgan says:

    Have some water Marco, the crap in your mouth is making it hard to understand what the hell you’re talking about.

  33. FLL says:

    Obama negotiated all of this with Cuba’s president, Raúl Castro, who governs Cuba at this point (Fidel Castro being retired and gravely ill). I have mentioned, from time to time, that comedy is sacred, and what richer source of comedy than famous political figures whose sexuality is not a secret but an open secret. The Cuban government was apparently so touchy in the 1960s that they deported Allen Ginsberg for repeating the well known fact that Raúl Castro is gay. Consider, comedy fans, this Raúl Castro quote:

    “I have always been discreet, that is my way, and in passing I will clarify that I am thinking of continuing in that way.”

    Raúl is God’s gift to comedy.

  34. Butch1 says:

    This is true, though he’s been supported by them by rallying the old, stand firm and keep the embargo in place, baloney. It has given him money from them, but I don’t see that working now that this has happened. What can he do, continue to keep fighting to turn back the clock? He would look like a fool if he tried. The younger Cubans would laugh him off the stage if he tried that approach. He can only raile against Obama like he has as a poor negotiator. The only problem is that there was nothing to really negotiate. We swapped prisoners and opened our countries to having relations again. I think it was a good move. Nixon did it with China and we have good relations with Vietnam.

  35. 2karmanot says:

    Marco Rubio—–the Latino Sara Palin.

  36. BeccaM says:

    I doubt it. Remember: the GOP base consists in large part of crusty old conservatives. There aren’t many that are more crusty and old than the Cuban-American refugees from the Bautista regime, who lobbied for two generations to keep those sanctions in place, because they wouldn’t ever let go of their illusion of one day being wealthy peasant-exploiting plantation owners once again.

    The GOP’s refrain is “change nothing, ever!”

  37. BeccaM says:

    Fer f*ck’s sake, Obama couldn’t butter toast without the Republicans throwing a raging hissy fit about how he’s buttering it all wrong, destroying America and freeeeedom and democracy, and raping everybody’s mothers all at the same time.

    Guess Pope Francis now knows what it’s like to be caught in American hyper-partisan sh*t flinging, for the unforgivable sin of enabling Obama to accomplish anything at all.

  38. John Masters says:

    Make no mistake, his playing the Catholic/Baptist card was all about political appeal. I’m guessing he rarely, if ever, actually even attends church. I think the Baptist Church he claims to belong to is a very large one (so lots of voters). He kind of tangentially clings to the Catholic thing because most of the Hispanic voters are Catholic.

    I do not know who is giving him advice on this issue, but he needs to fire them. The only people that give a crap about the Cuba sanctions are a few die hard anti-castro activists in the Miami area. The rest of the country doesn’t really care all that much one way or another, so he’s not appealing to a group that’s gonna help him carry even Florida. Lots of Cuban immigrants here are ready to stop the charade.

    And as someone so rightfully notes, he’s apparently decided to try to pacify this tiny group of Miami activist by attacking a person with a 67% world-wide approval rating. Given the lack intellectual vigor we’re going to be seeing in the coming Republican field, this might still take and keep honors as one of the top 10 dumbest campaign moves.

  39. angryspittle says:

    Rubio isn’t fit to carry Elizabeth Warren’s ball sack.

  40. FLL says:

    Cuban Americans here in South Florida switched to the Republican Party after JFK didn’t commit U.S. troops or air power to support the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961. They held their grudge against JFK and the Democratic Party and loyally voted Republican… until 2012, the election in which the Democrats finally broke the back of the Republican Party in the Cuban-American community. A quick Google search will come up with a flood of articles from November, 2012 about the end of the Republican Party’s hold over Cuban Americans. Below is a link to the article from South Florida’s most influential daily newspaper, the Miami Herald. Florida’s electoral votes are now in the Democratic column, probably for good.

  41. Butch1 says:

    Did the president steal Marco Rubio’s thunder? Rubio must have had something planned all this time getting ready to possibly run for president using Cuba as a draw for money from his Cuban community in Miami and now that relations are being normalized, Rubio’s hot-air balloon has just deflated. What does he have now to rally the Cuban exiles about now that the president has stolen his thunder? Hard to raise money to keep the “block-aid” going when it’s pretty much all over.

  42. Houndentenor says:

    This should have happened 20 years ago if not early. We’re the only ones still engaging in this ridiculous charade. Americans go to Cuba all the time, just by way of Canada or Mexico. It’s a joke that we pretend like our little mock-sanctions are actually accomplishing anything. It’s only to placate the old tyrants who made life so miserable for working class Cubans that they thought communism was a good idea and their descendants.

  43. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Marco Rubio has allegiance to only one thing – Marco Rubio.

  44. Max_1 says:

    His name is Marco Rube… leave off the io and you get the true Marco.

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