Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said he will "scare" Pope Francis by telling him "ISIS wants to get you" should the pontiff criticize capitalism during his visit to the United States next month.
During a CNN interview which aired Wednesday night, news anchor Chris Cuomo asked Trump what he would do if Pope Francis told him about capitalism's "toxic" and "corrupt" nature.
"I'd say, 'ISIS wants to get you.' You know that ISIS wants to go in and take over the Vatican, you have heard that?" the controversial GOP frontrunner responded. "You know that's a dream of theirs, to go into Italy."
"He'd talk to you about capitalism and you'd scare the pope?" Cuomo asked with a surprised expression on his face.
"I'm gonna have to scare the pope because it's the only thing. Look: The pope, I hope, can only be scared by God," Trump responded. "But the truth is, 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."
In continuing his comments, the real estate mogul went on to explain that the United States is usually unable to achieve this ideal.
"In our country, Chris, it has not been working properly," he said. "Between regulation, between all of the Dodd-Frank [regulations of Wall Street], between all of the different things that have been imposed, we aren't competitive like we used to be. We have to open up our country to great capitalists. And I don't think that the pope is opposed to capitalism, by the way."
Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the United States next month and has publicly voiced his opposition to unbridled capitalism in the past, saying it promotes greed and likening it to "the dung of the devil."
However, while the two men share vastly different political views, Trump told Cuomo that he holds a great deal of respect for the pontiff.
"I'm protestant but I have great respect for the pope. I like the pope. I actually like him. He's becoming very political, there's no question about it. But I like him," Trump said. "He seems like a pretty good guy."
According to a new Fox News poll, Trump is continuing to dominate with 25 percent support nationally. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson is running second at 12 percent, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz follows at 10 percent.