For once, I find myself in agreement with Donald Trump:
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Thursday that he respects Pope Francis after bashing the pontiff earlier in the day for criticizing his plan to build a border wall.
“He has a lot of personality,” Trump said during the CNN town hall on Thursday night in South Carolina. “He’s very different, he’s a very different kind of a guy, and I think he’s doing a very good job. A lot of energy.”
Earlier on Thursday, Trump said the pope publicly questioned his faith with a statement that said building walls “is not Christian.” Trump called a religious leader questioning a person’s faith “disgraceful.”
But he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that after seeing the pope’s actual statements, it seems nicer than what was originally portrayed.
“I think he said something much softer than was originally reported by the media,” he said.
Trump added that the pope only knew one side of the story.
“Somehow the government of Mexico spoke with the pope. I mean, they spent a lot of time with the pope, and by the time they left, they made the statement,” he said.
Asked what he thought the Mexican government’s role was, Trump said, “they probably talked about ‘isn’t it terrible that Mr. Trump wants to have border security,’ ” he said.
“I think that he heard one side of the story, which is probably by the Mexican government,” he said.
But Trump said the bottom line is that the country needs stronger border security.
“I don’t like fighting with the pope, actually. I don’t think this is a fight,” he said.
The Vatican has also weighed in after the fact:
Spokesperson for @Pontifex clarifies: comments on Trump weren’t “personal attack”
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) February 19, 2016
As an aside, Pontiff comes from a Latin word meaning “bridge builder,” imagine that.
Crossposted at Brutally Honest.