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Pope Francis: I am not ‘left-ish’

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Shortly before Pope Francis touched down on U.S. soil for the first time on Tuesday, he assured journalists that he is not a liberal, according to reports.

“Some people might say some things sounded slightly more left-ish, but that would be a mistake of interpretation,” Francis said aboard his flight from Cuba to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

{mosads}“It is I who follows the church … my doctrine on all this … on economic imperialism, is that of the social doctrine of the church,” Francis added, according to Time.

Francis arrived to cheers and chants welcoming him to the U.S. when he landed outside Washington, D.C., where he will address a joint meeting of Congress on Thursday, with speculation running rampant about what he might discuss.

The pope shook hands with President Obama, the first lady and their daughters, as well as the vice president and his wife after he landed.

The first pope from Latin America has publicly supported issues including preventing climate change, income inequality and ending the U.S. embargo with Cuba, a goal of the Obama administration.

But conservatives are also looking forward to what he may say on social issues such as abortion during his visit to the U.S., at a time when the topic has risen to the fore in a debate over public funding for Planned Parenthood.

Francis said aboard the flight Tuesday that he plans to speak in general terms about “bilateral relations and multinational relations as a sign of progress.”

He does not plan to discuss the Cuba embargo, according to multiple outlets.

Tags Abortion Abortion funding Barack Obama Climate change Pope Francis Pope visit

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