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Religious Symbols Covered Up When President Obama Spoke at a Catholic University

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Fully Covered

The University of Notre Dame is not the only Catholic institution raising eyebrows when it comes to President Obama. Officials at Georgetown University covered a monogram symbolizing the name of Jesus because it was inscribed on the stage where the president spoke Tuesday. The White House asked for all symbols to be covered at the lecture hall.

Georgetown University spokeswoman Julie Green Bataille tells Cybercast News "the White House wanted a simple backdrop... consistent with what they've done for other policy speeches."

The monogram "IHS" — which comes from the Greek for Jesus — was covered with a triangle of black-painted plywood. Catholic League president Bill Donohue says: "The cowardice of Georgetown to stand fast on principle tells us more than we need to know... but the bigger story is the audacity of the Obama administration to ask a religious school to neuter itself before the president speaks there."

But White House Director of Specialty Media Shin Inouye tells FOX: "Decisions made about the backdrop for the speech were made to have a consistent background of American flags, which is standard for many presidential events. Any suggestions to the contrary are simply false."

In the Red

The presidential campaign is long over, but a number of former candidates are still in debt. FEC records show Republicans John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee — along with Democrats Hillary Clinton and Chris Dodd — still owed millions in consulting, banking and accounting fees at the end of last month.

Leading the pack is former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani at $3.5 million dollars. Secretary of State Clinton is $2.3 million in the red — all owed to pollster Mark Penn. She has already paid him $3 million this year. Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Dodd is behind $299,000. While former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney owes $250,000. Republican former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is $82,000 in debt. And senator John McCain owes just over $1,800.

Burning Question

And we showed you earlier what Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on FOX News this morning about that report that got veterans so upset. She was also on MSNBC, and before that interview, her people told the channel that she would not talk much about the matter.

After the interview, anchor Mika Brzezinski said: "We should be clear, they only wanted one question." Joe Scarborough responded: "They said we could ask only one question about this story yesterday."

The Politico reports the office of Virginia Republican Congressman Eric Cantor pounced. A staff member from Rep. Cantor's office, Joe Pounder, said: "Apparently, when Democrats promise an open administration, they really only mean open as long as you ask the questions they want asked and no follow-ups on controversial topics that everyone is reporting on."

There were no such restrictions for Napolitano's interview with FOX News, nor would we agree to any.

— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.

Bret Baier currently serves as anchor of FOX News Channel's (FNC) Special Report with Bret Baier (weeknights 6-7PM/ET), the top-rated cable news program in its timeslot. Based in Washington, DC, he joined the network in 1998 as the first reporter in the Atlanta bureau.