House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) appeared on "Fox & Friends" this morning to accuse liberals of "trying to co-opt [Pope Francis'] message for their own agenda and innuendo" -- before immediately trying to co-opt the pope's message for his own agenda and innuendo, claiming that the pontiff's statement about defending "human life at every stage of its development" was about abortion.
"Congressman, he never used the word 'abortion,'" Steve Doocy said, "but obviously, that's what he was talking about."
Scalise speculated that the pope "didn't want to get into specific policy, but I do think he wanted to address the topics -- a conversation that this country deeply needs to have."
"Clearly," he added -- neglecting the fact that had Pope Francis wanted to "clearly" talk about abortion, he would have mentioned it by name -- "clearly, the pope has said over time he's opposed to abortion, and this is something extra on the table for people who aren't already in yet."
Despite this "clear" non-policy statement about abortion, Scalise insisted that the pope gave a speech that "transcended politics," and was more "inspirational and aspirational" than policy-related -- which is a convenient position for Scalise to hold, given that the Holy Father did in fact outline the necessity of confronting climate change and dealing with the immigration crisis, two subjects on which he and the contemporary Republican Party could hardly be farther apart.
Watch the entire interview below via Fox News.