Soon after declaring he would seek an end to birthright citizenship, Donald Trump said he would use Islamic State extremists to scare the pope if he slammed capitalism on his upcoming visit to the U.S.
Pope Francis will honor immigrants by using a chair made by Latino laborers during Mass next month at New York’s Madison Square Garden — where he is expected to make critical remarks about American economic policies, as he has in the past.
Trump, the Republican presidential frontrunner, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that he would remind the pope that ISIS radicals want to kill him and take over the Vatican.
“I’d say, ‘ISIS wants to get you,'” Trump said. “You know that ISIS wants to go in and take over the Vatican — you have heard that. That’s a dream of theirs.”
Cuomo asked if he would really try to scare the pope.
“I’m going to have to scare the pope,” Trump said. “The pope, I hope, can only be scared by God, but the truth is — you know, 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.”
Trump, however, argued that capitalism has not been working properly in the U.S. — which the pontiff has also claimed, but for the exact opposite reasons.
“Between regulation, between all of the Dodd-Frank (Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act), between all of the different things that have been imposed, we aren’t competitive like we used to be,” Trump said. “We have to open up our country to great capitalism.”
The pope has explicitly rejected the sort of unregulated free market described by Trump as “the dung of the devil” and has urged world leaders to reject the “absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation” — which he denounced as “tyranny.”
“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world,” Pope Francis wrote. “This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”
Even so, the real estate tycoon and reality TV star said he doesn’t believe Pope Francis is actually opposed to capitalism.
“I’ve seen a lot of what he’s opposed to, and I don’t think the pope is opposed to capitalism,” he said.
Watch Trump’s remarks posted online by CNN: