The National Republican Senatorial Committee on Wednesday latched on to a recent decision by the State Department to shutter the U.S. embassy at the Vatican, calling the move "anti-religion" in a bid to raise money for Republican candidates.
"This is just the latest anti-religion pursuit of this administration, a slap in the face to Catholic-Americans around the country that weakens America’s position as a global leader," a post on the NRSC website reads. Adjacent to the message is a doctored photo of an angry-looking President Obama who appears to be yelling at the Vatican. The site also prompts users to sign a petition with an email address to oppose the decision.
A Republican strategist with knowledge of NRSC strategy also confirmed that the committee will seek to raise money off of the embassy closing and use it to attract new supporters.
But the American embassy located in the Holy See is not being altogether dissolved. It's being folded into the U.S. diplomatic mission to Italy, which means the staff will now work out of the American embassy, which is close to the Vatican.
According to a Washington Post report citing the State Department, consolidating the embassies will conserve an estimated $1.4 million annually.