Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speculated on Wednesday that he could have to “scare” the pope.
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo asked the real-estate magnate during an interview Wednesday how he’d react to Pope Francis telling him about capitalism’s “corrupt” nature.
Trump said he’d respond by telling the pope about the Islamic State extremist group (also known as ISIS) and its desire to take over the Vatican.
“I’d say, ‘ISIS wants to get you.’ You know that ISIS wants to go in and take over the Vatican, you have heard that?” Trump asked Cuomo. “You know that’s a dream of theirs, to go into Italy.”
The CNN host was incredulous.
“He’d talk to you about capitalism and you’d scare the pope?” Cuomo asked.
Trump said he would indeed scare the pope in this scenario.
“I’m gonna have to scare the pope because it’s the only thing. Look: The pope, I hope, can only be scared by God,” Trump said. “But the truth is, if you look at what’s going on, they better hope that capitalism works because it’s the only thing we have right now. And it’s a great thing when it works properly.”
The developer went on to lament that capitalism does not always achieve this ideal.
“In our country, Chris, it has not been working properly,” he said. “Between regulation, between all of the Dodd-Frank [regulations of Wall Street], between all of the different things that have been imposed, we aren’t competitive like we used to be. We have to open up our country to great capitalists. And I don’t think that the pope is opposed to capitalism, by the way.”
Pope Francis, who is scheduled to visit the US next month, has generated worldwide headlines by speaking out on topics like climate change and questioning the global economic system. Despite this seemingly economically liberal bent, however, Trump told Cuomo that he’s a fan of the pope.
“I’m protestant but I have great respect for the pope. I like the pope. I actually like him. He’s becoming very political, there’s no question about it. But I like him,” Trump said. “He seems like a pretty good guy.”
Watch Trump’s CNN interview below:
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