The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson—Getty Images
September 21, 2015 7:38 AM EDT

The fallout of Donald Trump‘s refusal to condemn a man who called President Obama a Muslim continued over the weekend, with Ben Carson saying he would not approve of a Muslim president and Trump re-awakening his skepticism of Obama’s place of birth. “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” Carson said on Meet the Press. “I absolutely would not agree with that.” Trump followed on the show, when asked about the same issue: “I mean, some people have said it already happened, frankly. But of course you wouldn’t agree with that.” The firestorm that these comments have already ignited may prove to been a temporary boon to the candidates, rallying their supporters against the media and liberal attacks. But they more clearly demonstrate the difficulty either outsider candidate faces in trying to broaden their support to a majority of the GOP, let alone the nation.

Pope Francis is in Cuba and will arrive in Washington tomorrow, where he will face a mixed reception from lawmakers. The popular pontiff who has been hailed for bringing a new tone to the Catholic Church will face skepticism from many Republicans in Congress who find his leadership on climate change and rapprochement with Cuba anathema.

Carly Fiorina prepares for the scrutiny of the top tier. Hillary Clinton channels Pinocchio. And John Kasich‘s super PAC trolls Trump.

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

U.S. Will Accept More Refugees as Crisis Grows
Obama administration steps up assistance as calls to do more escalate [New York Times]

Pope Francis Meets Raúl Castro in Havana
TIME’s Elizabeth Dias reports from Havana

Xi Jinping’s Landmark First State Visit to the U.S. Won’t Fix Fundamental Policy Disputes
TIME’s Hannah Beech reports on the long odds for consensus

Fault Lines in the GOP, as Revealed by the Less-Watched Undercard Debate
The four men on stage demonstrated the fractured state of the GOP [Washington Post]

Carly Fiorina’s Top-Tier Baptism
A rush to capitalize on her momentum [Politico]

Pope’s Appeals Inspire, Inflame Congress
A awkward visit for many [Boston Globe]

Sound Off

“Garbage men get used to the smell of bad garbage. Prisoners learn how to become prisoners, all right?” — Speaker of the House John Boehner to Politico on his fundraising jaunts in support of his fractured conference

“I am a real person with all the pluses and minuses that go along with being that.” — Hillary Clinton on Face the Nation

Bits and Bites

GOP Ties Anti-Abortion Push to Papal Visit [Politico]

Bernie Sanders Answers Whether He’s the ‘Democratic Donald Trump’ on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show [TIME]

What the First Muslim Congressman Had to Say About Ben Carson’s Comments on Islam [TIME]

Fiorina Jumps to Second Among GOP Contenders in New CNN Poll [TIME]

John Kasich Super-PAC Borrows Trump-like Helicopter for New TV Ad [Bloomberg]

Obama Has Vastly Changed the Face of the Federal Bureaucracy [Washington Post]

A Rookie Brings Her Skills to the ‘Super Bowl’ of Social Planning [New York Times]

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