Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush accused President Barack Obama of seeking retribution for Catholic opposition to the Affordable Care Act after Obama closed the U.S. embassy to the Vatican.
Bush tweeted his opinion of the decision on Wednesday evening.
“Why would our President close our Embassy to the Vatican?” Bush tweeted. “Hopefully, it is not retribution for Catholic organizations opposing Obamacare.”
In actuality, the embassy is not being closed, but moved. In a move expected to save the U.S. government $1.4 million a year, the Vatican facility and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations will be moved to a larger compound shared with the U.S. Embassy in Italy.
Yet, conservatives continue to criticize Obama for the move.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee called the relocation the latest anti-religion pursuit of the Obama administration. They also insisted that it would weaken America’s position as a global leader.
“It’s not just those who bomb churches and kill Catholics in the Middle East who are our antagonists,” Raymond Flynn, a former envoy to the Vatican, said. “It’s also those who restrict our religious freedoms and want to close down our embassy to the Holy See.”
The Obama administration has maintained that the move is not a sign of weakening ties between the United States and the Vatican.