What does it say about Bernie Sanders--and the Pope--that when it comes to economics, Sanders sees Pope Francis as more "radical" than he is?
Appearing on today's Morning Joe, Sanders discussed the news that he has been invited to visit the Vatican. Sanders mentioned that [other than on social issues] he is a "big, big fan of the Pope." Said Sanders: "people think Bernie Sanders is radical. Uh-uh. Read what the Pope is writing." Sanders went on to describe the Pope's views on economics: "he's talking about the idolatry of money, the worship of money, the greed that's out there . . . And he's trying to inject a sense of morality into how we do economics."
Note: while saying that he was a "big, big fan" of the Pope, Bernie was careful to indicate that he disagreed with him on "women's rights" and "gay rights." But even there, it seems the Pope is evolving. Just today, news has come that when it comes to sex, marriage and family life, the Pope has instructed Catholics to be guided by individual conscience rather than rules. Shades of "if it feels good, do it?"
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: So you would be the first Jewish president and I'm looking here at -- I don't know if this is new, have you heard he's going to the Vatican? Has this been revealed? as anyone--has this been written --
BERNIE SANDERS: You have the story here, Mika. Tell the world.
MIKA: Tell me, you're going to be going to the Vatican to talk about how to create a moral economy that works for all people rather than the top 1%? How did this come about?
SANDERS: It was an invitation from the Vatican.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: That's pretty good.
MIKA: That's kind of impressive.
SANDERS: It is.
MIKA: [ Laughter ] It is. I like that.
JOE: Mike [Barnicle] Has the Pope invited you to the Vatican?
MIKE BARNICLE: He's not invited me. He's invited Senator Sanders. I am kind of offended because I've been going to 8:00 children's Mass now for --
MIKA: Last time I checked you're a Catholic, too.
JOE: So you've been invited by the Vatican to go over and speak.
SANDERS: And I was very moved by the invitation which just was made public today. I am a big, big fan of the Pope. Obviously there are areas where we disagree, on women's rights or gay rights, but he has played an unbelievable role, an unbelievable role of injecting a moral consequence into the economy. And here's what he is saying. You know, people think Bernie Sanders is radical. Uh-uh. Read what the Pope is writing. What he is saying is not only that we have to pay attention to what he calls the dispossessed, and, again, we don't talk about it enough, these are the children who have no jobs all over the world, youth unemployment is off the charts, the elderly people who are watching this program now who are trying to get by on $11,000 a year. We don't talk about that. But you know what else he's even doing? He's talking about the idolatry of money, the worship of money, the greed that's out there, how our whole culture is based on I need more and more and more and I don't have to worry about veterans sleeping out on the street or elderly people who can't afford their prescription drugs. And he's trying to inject a sense of morality into how we do economics.
MIKA: Trying to put a conscience into it.
SANDERSL Absolutely and we need that desperately.