Trump: ‘I Don’t Like Fighting With The Pope’

Thursday at CNN’s Republican presidential town hall, when asked about Pope Francis suggesting he was not a Christian, Donald Trump downplayed the incident and said he thought that perhaps the Pope was “misinterpreted.”

Trump said, “I didn’t think it was a good thing for him to say, frankly. He was talking about the border and I’m very strong on border security. We have to have a border in this country. We don’t have one right now. We’re going to build a wall and Mexico is going to pay for the wall. That’s the way it is. We have a trade balance — imbalance of about $58 billion with Mexico. It’s more than that because we subsidize, et cetera, et cetera. So they’re going to pay for the wall. But somehow the government of Mexico spoke with the pope, they spent a lot of time with the pope.”

He continued, “I don’t like fighting with the pope actually. I don’t think this is a fight. I think it was much softer than originally reported by the media. I think he heard one side of the story from the Mexican government. He didn’t see the strain with the drugs pouring across the border. I won the New Hampshire primary. The biggest single problem no matter where I went in New Hampshire is heroin. You look at New Hampshire as being this beautiful, idyllic place and I loved it. They have a massive drug problem, as you know. no matter what I do, it’s the first subject they want to talk about and we’ve got to stop it. It’s pouring in through the southern border and we are going to stop it.”

He added, “No, I have a lot of respect for the pope. I think he has a lot of personality, he’s very different. He’s a very different kind of guy. I think he’s doing as good job. He has a lot of energy. But I think he was very much  misinterpreted. I think he was also given false information. If he had heard our side…I like him as a personality. I like what he represents and I certainly have great respect for the position.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN