Three former United States ambassadors to the Vatican, all of whom served under President George W. Bush, have endorsed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for the Republican presidential nomination.
They are, according to a report Wednesday by the Catholic news website Crux
- James Nicholson, who chaired the Republican National Committee during the 2000 elections. He later served as Veterans Affairs secretary after serving at the Vatican.
- Francis Rooney, an Oklahoma executive and large Republican donor.
- Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon, an independent who has served in several posts in Rome and how sits on the board of the Vatican bank.
They endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's bid for the nomination in 2012.
Two other former Vatican envoys — the late Thomas Melady, who served under George H.W. Bush, and former Boston Mayor Raymond Flynn, a Democrat who served in the Bill Clinton White House — also backed Romney, according to the report.
Bush, who converted to Catholicism 20 years ago, is "honored" by the endorsements, a spokesman told Crux, adding that the former Vatican ambassadors will "provide critical leadership in our effort to gain the support of Catholic voters."
The former governor attended the Mass celebrated by Pope Francis at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception at Catholic University in Washington on Wednesday.
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