The Buzz

Claire McCaskill denies “hating” Cardinal Burke

Now this was weird.

Just hours after McCaskill and several other senators opposed Harry Reid for another term as the Democratic Senate leader, Reid gave an interview to The New York Times in which he expounded on time he once spent with Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, a former archbishop of St. Louis.

Burke was once an influential prelate who saw his authority undercut by Pope Francis. Burke has been a frequent critic of the pope’s.

Any-hoo, Reid was talking about Burke when the Senate leader suddenly invoked McCaskill’s name.

“Now Claire McCaskill and others just hate the man,” Reid said.

The Post-Dispatch points out that McCaskill has had her troubles with the former archbishop.

In 2007, Burke took back a speaking invitation to McCaskill for her daughter’s high school graduation at St. Joseph’s Academy in Frontenac. Burke cited the senator’s position on abortion.

This week, McCaskill’s office felt compelled to respond to the Times’ story.

“Those were Harry Reid’s words, not Claire’s; she would never use the word ‘hate’ when talking about the church,” McCaskill spokesman John LaBombard said. “That said, Claire is a big fan of Pope Francis, both for his views on social justice and on inclusion in the Catholic faith.”

Told you it was a weird story.