In a lengthy, wide-ranging interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo Wednesday, Donald Trump said Pope Francis needed a wake-up call about the importance of capitalism.
Asked what he'd say if the Pope told him "capitalism can be toxic," Trump responded by saying he'd put the fear of ISIS in him:
"I'd say, 'ISIS wants to get you,'" replied the Republican presidential frontrunner. "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."
When a clearly stunned Cuomo pressed Trump on how seriously he meant the statement, Trump explained, "I'm gonna have to scare the Pope because it's the only thing."
"The Pope, I hope, can only be scared by God," he continued. "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. And it's a great thing when it works properly."
After noting that capitalism was not being allowed to function "properly" because of government over-regulation, Trump offered an olive branch to the "pretty good guy" Francis.
"I have great respect for the Pope," he said. "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."
Trump also noted that despite the Pope's rhetoric, he doesn't think he actually opposes capitalism.
"I've seen a lot of what he's opposed to," said Trump, "and I don’t think the Pope is opposed to capitalism."