Rendell Blasts “Pope Fence”

EdRendellSecurity may be sacred for the Pope’s upcoming visit to Philadelphia, but former Governor Ed Rendell thinks that the Secret Service has gone overboard.

“I think the secret service has sort of run over the city,” Rendell said on the 94WIP Morning Show on Wednesday.

The Pope’s visit is less than 40 days away, and 1.5 million people are expected to flood Philadelphia for the his appearances. Rendell implied that the cautious security measures may deter visitors.

“The secret service has one goal—that the principal or in this case the Pope, doesn’t get hurt. And they couldn’t care less if nobody showed up and watched the Pope, as long as the Pope doesn’t get hurt on their watch.”

Rendell was especially dismayed at the plan to erect a fence between the Pope and spectators.

“The Pope went to Bolivia, Ecuador, and Paraguay and there was no fence. It boggles the mind why we have to put up a fence in the United States of America. And I think if the Pope knew what was going on, that seniors are going to be asked if you live in New Jersey to walk four or files miles across the Ben Franklin bridge up to the Parkway, I think the Pope would be aghast.”

Despite his skepticism, Rendell praised Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter for the intense planning that the Papal visit demanded.

“I think that Mayor Nutter has done a great job in handling the entire visit and convincing the Pope to come to Philadelphia,” Rendell said. “And remember he was only coming to one city originally and that was going to be Philadelphia and then New York and Washington sparked so much so he decided to lengthen the trip. But I think the Mayor has done a good job, but he’s starting to push back now on behalf of our businesses and behalf of the people, but it’s late and hopefully it will work. We’ve still got a month to go.”

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