Paul Ryan upbraids Clinton campaign over anti-Catholic remarks

Responding to revelations by Wikileaks that Hillary Clinton’s aides were involved in an email exchange ridiculing Roman Catholics, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) rebuked the Clinton campaign and said the remarks necessitated dismissals for those involved.

A 2011 email sent from John Halpin, senior fellow with progressive think tank Center for American Progress, to Clinton aides Jennifer Palmieri and John Podesta illustrating a low opinion of News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch and then-managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, Robert Thompson, has caused upheaval.

“Friggin’ Murdoch baptized his kids in Jordan where John the Baptist baptized Jesus,” Halpin wrote. “Many of the most powerful elements of the conservative movement are all Catholic (many converts) from the SC and think tanks to the media and social groups. It’s an amazing bastardization of the faith. They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy.”

Palmieri replied to Halpin:  “I imagine they think it is the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion. Their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they became evangelicals.”

It is not known if Podesta responded to Halpin’s missive.

Denouncing the written remarks as reflecting “disdain for the Catholic faith and Christian evangelicals,” Ryan said in a statement:

“All Americans of faith should take a long, hard look at this and decide if these are the values we want to be represented in our next president. If Hillary Clinton continues to employ people with biased and bigoted views, it’s clear where her priorities lie.”

Anti-defamation group, The Catholic League, eviscerated Clinton.

“These anti-Catholic remarks are bad enough but it makes one wonder what else Clinton’s chiefs and others associated with the campaign are saying about Catholics and Catholicism,” it read.

A separate group, Catholic Vote, demanded Jennifer Palmieri’s ouster and issued a statement from the group’s president, Brian Burch.

“Everyone has a unique faith journey, and it’s just insulting to make blanket statements maligning people’s motives for converting to another faith tradition,” Burch said. “Had Palmieri spoken this way about other groups she would dismissed. Catholics will be watching Hillary Clinton to see whether she thinks our religious faith should be respected, or whether it’s fair game to mock us.”

In an average of the latest four-way national polls, Clinton’s lead over Republican nominee Donald Trump stands at just over six points, 45.4 to 39.1 percent, as of Monday.


[The Hill] [RealClear Politics] [Photo courtesy David Becker/Getty Images via ABC News]