Obama’s initial response to new pope

March 13, 2013
President Barack Obama waves to supporters as he arrives at the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte on Sept. 5, 2012. (AP)

President Obama emerged from his meeting with House Republicans about 3 p.m. and reporters asked for his early thoughts on the announcement of a new pope.

“Well, I made the announcement that we saw smoke, but I actually have not seen the official announcement of the name, so we look forward to hearing about it,” he said.

Asked whether white smoke had perhaps arisen during his meeting with House Republicans, Obama laughed: “You’re straining the analogy.”

Regarding his meeting with Republicans, Obama told reporters, “It was good, I enjoyed it, it was useful.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), a Catholic, told reporters that he was "happy that they were able to come to a choice as quickly as they did."

Boehner praised the Church for electing Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, calling the choice of a non-European leader a "big step in the right direction."

Ed O’Keefe is a congressional reporter with The Washington Post and covered the 2008 and 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
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Krissah Thompson · March 13, 2013