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Ohio Representative Tiberi Reflects On Pope's Speech In Washington

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Central Ohio Congressman Pat Tiberi was in the audience this morning for Pope Francis' speech to Congress. Tiberi, a Catholic, called the occasion historic and the highlight of a life time.

Congressman Tiberi said while the Pope called on Congress to solve many of the world's problems, he did not prescribe one approach was better than another.

The following is an automatic transcription of the above conversation. Please excuse all minor errors and/or typos.

Marilyn Smith: You were right there front and center at the end of the pope's speech this morning, what was your overall reaction?

Pat Tiberi: Obviously it was it was terrific. Historic. The fourth pope to visit the United States the first to come before the United States Congress to address a joint session of Congress, as a Catholic as an American it was it was just a tremendous, tremendous honor.

MS: It almost appeared as though the pope was imploring the Congress to work together. Did you get that feeling throughout the speech?

PT: I did it was it was fantastic, in terms of his humbleness he was just almost shy and in a way, in the way he delivered it. Softspoken, obviously in English which is not his first or second language and so he had a great humble full of humility style. And throughout the speech there are words that I think are a sign of working together and he completely understood the process by which Congress works more than some Americans do, quite honestly.

And he talked about the spirit of openness having dialogue throughout, he talked about dialogue and talking and pragmatism.

From a, you know from the pope, talking to the United States Congress about leadership and how good political leaders have a spirit of openness and have interest of all in mind and have pragmatism and initiate processes, so it was all over the entire speech, there are words of working together that I hope was well received by my colleagues on both the left in the right.

MS: He also spoke very forcefully, it would seem on immigration. He called America a land of dreams, he referred to himself as the son of immigrants. This at a time that immigration has been a very polarizing topic. Do you think we'll see a change in the way Congress now approaches the immigration issue?

PT: It takes more than one House the Congress obviously, takes more than one political party it's the House, it's the Senate, it's the president, it's Democrats and Republicans and it's compromise, as the pope said. And as myself as a Republican and son of immigrants as well, his holiness' parents came from Italy, went to Argentina. My parents came from Italy came to America.

I agree with everything he talked about. Obviously we have a broken immigration system and it needs fixed. I think there's a right way to do it, I don't get to have my way the president doesn't get to have his way.

I think the point of the Pontiff's speech is that we all have to come together and give and take at the end of the day to come up with a system that is clearly going to be better than the system we have today and fix the perverse incentives that we have because of the broken immigration system.

MS: He also spoke out about global warming about climate change. Many Republicans have rejected that notion of climate change all together do you think that some minds were changed today.

PT: Well you know again if you look at his words, he, everything he said I think almost all my colleagues on both sides of the aisle would agree with. He wasn't prescriptive in how we get there, but I think how we outlined the issue and talk generally about using technology to help safeguard the Earth, we all agree on that. How we get there obviously is the point of contention.

You know the other issue that he talked about that I guess was pretty unexpected was what he called the fundamental relationship of the family and how about being called into question and the basis of marriage in our culture, and obviously that's been a pretty hot topic over the course of the last year.

MS: Representative Pat Tiberi on this very busy day in Washington thank you for taking the time to talk to us.

PT: Great to be with you.