Argentina's presidential election campaign is closing with a spat about just whom one Argentine might be supporting.

Pope Francis issued a message from Rome on Wednesday urging Argentines to "vote their conscience."

Ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli hinted that advice should benefit him. He said Francis had shared a "profound message" that implied that "people should seek out who they think will best defend them." He's running on a platform of continuing government social aid programs.

The campaign chairman for opposition leader Mauricio Macri criticized Scioli's remarks on Thursday. Marcos Pena said the comments were "disrespectful."

Thursday is the final legal day of campaigning ahead of Sunday's vote.