“Inserting himself into the Republican presidential race, Pope Francis suggested that Donald Trump ‘is not Christian’ because of the harshness of his campaign promises to deport more immigrants and force Mexico to pay for a wall along the border,” the New York Times reports.
Pope Francis: “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”
— POLITICO (@politico) February 18, 2016
Donald Trump’s response: It’s “disgraceful” for the Pope to question my faith. Trump issued a press release hitting back at the Pope:
“If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’s ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President because this would not have happened. ISIS would have been eradicated unlike what is happening now with our all talk, no action politicians.”
“The Mexican government and its leadership has made many disparaging remarks about me to the Pope, because they want to continue to rip off the United States, both on trade and at the border, and they understand I am totally wise to them. The Pope only heard one side of the story – he didn’t see the crime, the drug trafficking and the negative economic impact the current policies have on the United States. He doesn’t see how Mexican leadership is outsmarting President Obama and our leadership in every aspect of negotiation.”
All I can say is, you don’t want to pick a fight with the Pope. This should alienate Catholic and Hispanic voters (the few that supported Trump).
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) February 18, 2016
–The increasingly overtly pro-Trump Joe Scarborough sides with Trump and at least one tweet virtually echoes the Trump camp.
–NO JOKE: Jerry Fallwell Jr. suddenly comes out in favor of separation of Church and state in the exchange between the Pope and Trump. We’ll repeat that: Jerry Fallwell Jr. suddenly comes out in favor of separation of Church and state in the exchange between the Pope and Trump.
“Jesus never intended to give instructions to political leaders on how to run a country,” he told CNN.
Trump vs. the Pope.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 18, 2016
It's disgraceful for the Pope to question Trump's Christianity, say people who've spent 8 years questioning Obama's Christianity.
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) February 18, 2016
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) February 18, 2016
Within GOP, Catholics are overrepresented in winner-take-all & take-most states. Could be building block for Rubio. https://t.co/WwhPxLxJry
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 18, 2016
— Salon.com (@Salon) February 18, 2016
Trump was probably on track to win SC big; *now* if he wins it big, it will be after standing up to the Pope & therefore even YUGER
— Mark Halperin (@MarkHalperin) February 18, 2016