Hillary Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine wants the Catholics he describes as “Pope Francis Catholics” to vote for Hillary Clinton this fall.
During a rally in Philadelphia, Kaine reminded Democrats that he went to a Jesuit High School which drew cheers from the crowd.
“Well, Jesuits aren’t that big an applause line in every city, but I’m glad to know in Philadelphia,” Kaine said. “I bet there were a lot of Pope Francis Catholics here before there was a Pope Francis.”
Kaine’s distinction between a Pope Francis Catholic and a Catholic is puzzling, but part of a greater strategy by the Clinton campaign to appeal to more liberal Catholic Democrats.
He has emphasized his qualifications as a Catholic since taking the stage as Hillary Clinton’s running mate, speaking openly about his Jesuit education and missionary work in Honduras.
“Soy Catolico, Soy Catolico,” he repeated in Spanish during a campaign rally after he was announced as Vice President. “I am a Catholic, and Hillary is a Methodist, but, I tell you, her creed is the same as mine, ‘Do all the good that you can,’” he said, quoting the Methodist motto.
To bolster his Catholic credentials, Kaine reminded the Democratic audience on a Saturday that he would be in his home parish at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in Richmond the following morning.
“Hey, St. E.’s folks, I hope you’re watching,” he said. “We will be there at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow.”
They were, and so was the media, who dutifully reported Kaine’s participation in the Mass and and “sang and clapped along to the choir.”
“During communion, Kaine joined the choir and took the lead singing a solo. He sang the solo parts of a song called ‘Taste and See,'” ABC News reported.
Parishioners stood and applauded Kaine after he entered the Church after accepting the nomination for Vice President on the Clinton ticket.
By citing his more liberal Jesuit education, Kaine sends a signal that he will not stand for the lives of unborn children as victims of abortion.
“I’m a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade and women being able to make these decisions,” he said when asked a question about abortion during a CNN interview in July.
His voting record to defend abortion rights has earned him the support of abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.
“He has been a champion for Planned Parenthood,” Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards said after he was nominated.