Politics & Government

Rand Paul skips Pope Francis’ address to Congress

Every Republican presidential candidate who could be in the room with Pope Francis during the pontiff’s address Thursday to Congress – that is, every senator – was there. Except one.

Unlike his fellow Republican senators running for president – Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham – Rand Paul didn’t attend.

Paul’s spokesman, Sergio Gor, said the Kentucky senator was sick.

“Unfortunately Senator Paul was under the weather this morning, and had to watch the Papal address from home,” Gor said.

Paul was apparently feeling better by the afternoon, because he made it to the Capitol to vote against a Senate Republican funding bill designed to stop a government shutdown at the end of the month.

“Since coming to Washington, I have voted against every spending bill that continues to add to our nation’s mountain of debt,” Paul said in a written statement released by his Senate office.

Paul had been campaigning Wednesday in Columbia, South Carolina, where he held an event with University of South Carolina students. He’s scheduled to campaign in New Hampshire on Friday.