After shouty debate, Bernie Sanders decries greed, climate change at the Vatican

click to enlarge Not New York. - wikimedia commons
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Not New York.

Thursday night's Democratic debate in Brooklyn at times reminded us of some of the rowdier, more interruption-laden Republican debates.

On the heels of that raucous event, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders hightailed it to the Vatican to speak at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, though MSNBC reports Pope Francis will not have time to meet with him.

During a televised press conference Friday afternoon, Sanders explained why he left the campaign trail at such a crucial time: four days ahead of the New York primary.

“I believe that the Pope has played a historical and incredible role in trying to create a new world economy and a new vision for the people of our planet,” Sanders, who is Jewish, said.

He told reporters that climate change, and the lack of will among political and economic leaders to do anything about it, shows that greed is epidemic, and praised Pope Francis' "visionary" concept of a "moral economy.”

“We have got to engrain moral principles into our economy, and there is no area where that is clearer than in the area of climate change,” he said. “The greed of the fossil fuel industry is literally destroying or planet.”

Supporters have raised concerns about his leaving the campaign trail ahead of New York's delegate-rich primary, one with an outcome that could help steer the trajectory of the Democratic primary race.

Campaign operatives have dismissed the notion that Sanders shouldn't leave the campaign trail at such a crucial time, or that he had any political motivation for meeting with the pope.

"There are some things that are above politics and this is one of those. This is an opportunity for him to speak at the Vatican on the signature works of his life," campaign manager Jeff Weaver said, according to CNN.

If polling is any indication, Sanders faces a tough uphill climb in his home state of New York against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a former Senator from that State. That primary is Tuesday.

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