Donald Trump recently fired back at the Pope in response to the religious leader’s accusation that Trump’s views on immigration reform, especially the part about building a yuge (yes, yuge) wall to keep out Mexicans, make him “not Christian.” Not a good enemy to be making, Donald.
During his campaign, would-be president Donald Trump has made some comments and actions that have prompted the American public to wonder “can Trump really pull this one off without losing a massive portion of his constituency?” But disrespecting the Pope, one of the most beloved people in the world, seems like a new low to many voters.
During a press conference he gave yesterday from aboard his private jet, the Pope spoke his mind about Trump’s politics.
“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel.”
As voters have been shown, notes a previous Inquisitr report, Trump is adamant about his faith in Christianity; or, at least, adamant that he appear pious. He is also not one to take criticism without retaliating, and Trump made a public appearance to defend himself regarding the Trump-Pope debacle within a few hours.
“No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith,” Trump announced after mockingly mimicking the Pope’s allegations.
This statement is particularly interesting, as Trump has publicly doubted the religious authenticity of several opposing republican politicians, including Ted Cruz and Ben Carson, in the past.
How can Ted Cruz be an Evangelical Christian when he lies so much and is so dishonest?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2016
“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.”
Trump also called out the Pope for being a hypocrite, pointing out that the vatican has “some pretty large walls” surrounding it.
Trump retook the podium later that day to speak about his criticisms of the Pope’s words, not apologizing but saying the Mexican government had been using the Pope as a pawn by feeding the religious leader unflattering misinformation about Trump.
Trump also tried to play down the Trump-Pope comments by saying, “I think he said something much softer than was originally reported by the media.”
Will Trump’s words against the Pope resonate well with potential voters? Some critics doubt it.
“Trump can take on former presidents, governors, senators, fellow candidates and the media, but I think he should just take a pass on arguing with the Pope on what makes a better Christian. It’s a fight Trump can’t win. And shouldn’t try,” notes Edward Rollins, a political adviser who has helped many republicans with their campaigns.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 19, 2016
Catholics, who regard the Pope as their spiritual leader, account for about 20 percent of the voting-age American public, according to Catholic news source The Crux, and most of that 20 percent would fall into Trump’s generally religious supporter base. Trump attacking the Pope on any level is more than likely to rub many of his voters the wrong way, remarks The New York Times.
“Mr. Trump’s remarks could prove far more damaging to him in heavily Catholic states like New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, all of which have delegate-rich primaries where he is aiming for strong victories. He and his advisers have long seen working-class white voters as a core part of his electoral base… but many of these voters are Catholics who, whether they like Francis or not, may blanch at Mr. Trump’s denouncing the Pope.”
Speaking of states with large Catholic populations, South Carolina Catholics make up 65 percent of republican primary voters in the state. The South Carolina primaries are to be held tomorrow; will the recent Trump-Pope spat impact the results?
[Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images and Spencer Platt/Getty Images]