The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Congressman raises money off boycotting Pope Francis

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) in August 2013. (Matt York/AP)

First, Rep. Paul Gosar publicly rebuked Pope Francis during His Holiness’ historic visit to Capitol Hill.

Now he wants money for doing so.

We noted earlier this week how politicians are pretty shameless when it comes to raising campaign cash. They tend to get increasingly dramatic and desperate on the last day of the quarter when campaigns strive to squeeze out the last few donor dollars before midnight.

[Democrats fundraising off John Boehner resignation]

But this latest e-mail plea might be on a whole new level.

With the boastful subject line: “I boycotted Pope Francis,” Gosar (R-Ariz.) e-mailed supporters Wednesday morning pleading for campaign donations on the grounds that he took a brave stand against the pontiff, and his liberal allies.

“I’m the Conservative Congressman who boycotted Pope Francis’ address to Congress because I believe when a Pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one,” the solicitation begins.

[Who is Paul Gosar, the congressman boycotting Pope Francis?]

He then lists a number of “liberals” like Stephen Colbert and the Web site Salon for attacking him for “taking a principled stand.” That’s when he asks for money. He just needs $25,000 to defend himself.

But Gosar doesn’t stop there. He continues to criticize the pontiff for his “focus on left-wing pseudo-science of ‘global warming’ instead?” (Naturally global warming is in quotes.) He also criticizes the liberal media for “reinforcing an almost rockstar-like status…” (Yeah, well, that wasn’t just the media. Maybe he missed the raucous crowds? John Boehner’s tears? The 7-Eleven curbside dolls?)

It’s a long yarn, where he declares his loyal Catholicism, but not for a pope that chooses to “pander to the liberal left.”

And raising those last few thousands dollars will really show him…