Election News

Pope Francis disses Donald Trump

Rubio said he has “tremendous respect and admiration” for the pope, but he added, “There’s no nation on Earth that’s more compassionate on immigration than we are.”

Cruz said he was steering clear of the dispute. “That’s between Donald and the pope,” he said. “I’m not going to get in the middle of them.”

It’s unclear what impact, if any, the pope’s rhetoric will have on the Republican primary. An October poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that most Americans had no strong opinion on the pope’s approach to immigration issues, though he was overall viewed favorably.

Even before Thursday’s exchange, Trump had been critical of Francis’ visit to Mexico. He said last week that the pope’s plans to pray at the border showed he was a political figure being exploited by the Mexican government.

Francis glossed over Trump’s assertion that he was a pawn of Mexico, telling reporters on his plane that he would “leave that up to your judgment.” But he seemed pleased to hear the pope had called him a “political” figure, noting that Aristotle had described the human being as a “political animal.”

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