- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 20, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said that Pope Francis “seems like a pretty good guy,” but if the pope started talking to him about the ills of capitalism, the billionaire businessman would say the Islamic State terrorist group “wants to get you.”

“Well, 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. He seems like a pretty good guy,” Mr. Trump told CNN’s Chris Cuomo when asked if he’d like to meet the pope, who is coming to the United States next month.

Mr. Cuomo asked what Mr. Trump would say if a translator said to him: “‘The pope believes that capitalism can be a real avenue to greed. It can be really toxic and corrupt.’ And he’s shaking his finger at you when he says it. What do you say in response to the pope?”

“I’d say ISIS wants to get you,” Mr. Trump said. “You know that ISIS wants to go in and take over the Vatican? You have heard that — you know, that’s a dream of theirs to go into Italy, you do know that.”

“I’m gonna have to scare the pope because it’s the only thing,” he said.

“Look, 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,” he said. “And it’s a great thing when it works properly. In our country, Chris, it has not been working properly.

“Between regulation, between all of the Dodd Frank, between all of the different things that have been imposed we aren’t competitive like we used to be,” Mr. Trump said. “We have to open up our country to great capitalists. And I don’t think the pope is opposed to capitalism, by the way. I’ve seen a lot of what he’s opposed to. And I don’t think the pope is opposed to capitalism.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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