Bernie heads to Rome ahead of NY primary

Just hours after finishing the Democratic debate in New York, Bernie Sanders landed in Rome to speak at the Vatican.

By Bronte Price, PoliticKING

Bernie Sanders spoke at the Vatican on Friday, addressing “immoral and unsustainable” wealth inequality and poverty, issuing a global call to action. Accompanying Sanders is his wife, Jane Sanders, and 10 of his family members, including four grandchildren.

The senator landed in Rome just hours after finishing the Democratic debate in New York Thursday night. He said that the opportunity to address the Vatican conference was too meaningful to pass up. The trip comes just before Tuesday’s important New York primary, which Bernie Sanders needs to do well in in order to maintain a fighting chance against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

“We have been left with an economy operated for the top 1 percent, who get richer and richer as the working class, the young and the poor fall further and further behind,” Sanders told the audience which was comprised of priests, bishops, academics and two South American presidents.

Sanders also participated in a discussion later in the afternoon and answer questions giving him a chance to expand on his message. “We don’t choose to politicize the pope,” Sanders told attendees, “but his spirit and courage and the fact, if I may say so here, that his words have gone way, way, way beyond the Catholic Church.”

Sanders also warned that young people around the world are becoming dissatisfied because of “corrupt and broken politics and an economy of stark inequality and injustice.”

“They are not satisfied with the destruction of our environment by a fossil fuel industry whose greed has put short term profits ahead of climate change and the future of our planet,” he said. “They are calling out for a return to fairness; for an economy that defends the common good by ensuring that every person, rich or poor, has access to quality health care, nutrition and education.”

During the conference, Sanders sat next to Bolivian President Evo Morales, who is well known for his anti-imperialist, socialist rhetoric, and is the other main guest of honor at the Vatican.

The Vermont senator told reporters that he admired the Pope’s message on the economy and the environment and that he was honored to address the conference. “I know that it’s taking me away from the campaign trail for a day but when I received this information it was so moving to me that it was something that I could just simply not refuse to attend,” he said.

Here’s what Jesse Ventura has to say about Bernie Sanders:

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