Bernie Sanders, the U.S. Democratic presidential candidate will speak at an event in Vatican next week, likely expanding his appeal to the Catholic voters ahead of the crucial nominating contests in series of North-eastern states.
Like Pope Francis, Bernie Sanders has made the economic inequality and plight of working class a central belief of his message. Bernie Sanders’ 15th April visit to the Vatican City, where he’ll give an economic address, will come just a few days before the Democrats in New York vote in their state primary.
The tour may assist the U.S. senator strengthen the anti-corporate line of the attack that he’s employed against Hillary Clinton, the Democratic rival as Sanders tries to keep his insurgent campaign for the 8th Nov. election alive.
Bernie Sanders, who’d be the 1st Jewish U.S. president if elected, described himself as “big, big fan of pope,” who leads the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
“The pope’s schedule is determined by Vatican but I’d certainly be enthusiastic about that,” said Bernie Sanders.
A meeting with Argentine pontiff could deliver a democratic enhancement to Bernie Sanders, who’s follow on Clinton in the support among America’s Catholic Democrats.
“Pope Francis has criticized the ‘make money at all cost’ capitalist mentality & called for more compassion for the poor,” said Brad Bannon who is a Democratic strategist, Washington. “That is exactly the way, Sanders wants to define his campaign against Hillary Clinton.”
Hillary Clinton scored victories over Bernie Sanders in Louisiana, Florida, Texas and Massachusetts, all of which are over one-quarter Catholic.
A survey by Pew Research Center earlier this year discovered that while almost 70% of Catholic Democrats thought Hillary Clinton would make a good president, just 46% thought Bernie Sanders would be one.
“This’s great play for Bernie Sanders because it ties directly his messaging related to the income equality, it puts him on world stage as a leader & it does it with an institution & leader important to a key voting bloc in state where every vote is going to count heading into primary,” said Bud Jackson, the Virginia-based Democratic strategist