Cameras were rolling on House Speaker John Boehner for a full minute before Pope Francis arrived to address Congress Thursday, showing Boehner fidgeting in visible discomfort.
The live feed provided by the Vatican showed him standing alone in his ceremonial office; C-SPAN and the U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference also broadcast the footage in near-total silence. At one point, Boehner tried to small-talk the cameramen. (RELATED: Pope Francis: Preaching Jesus Means Fearlessly ‘Moving Forward’)
— Kelsey D. Atherton (@AthertonKD) September 24, 2015
Boehner, who is Catholic, has reason to be uncomfortable, as Pope Francis brings challenges for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Roll Call notes that he’s facing “what may be his most spirited revolt to date” in the House, and awkwardness within his party amid papal chastisement may only make the inter-Republican feud worse. (RELATED: Pope Francis Met Little Sisters Of The Poor In Quiet Protest Of Obamacare)
As CNN’s Jake Tapper put it: “he’s looking like a nervous choirboy.”
After addressing Congress, Francis will have lunch with 300 recipients of aid from Catholic Charities.
UPDATE: Boehner later tweeted that, in his defense, he was “just a regular guy with a big job.”
Just a regular guy with a big job. https://t.co/Kl5rR3Qp9S
— Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) September 24, 2015
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