Ahead of his trip to the Vatican, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says he is a ''very great fan'' of Pope Francis' support for a moral economy. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: AUDIO AS INCOMING Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders praised Pope Francis' role in discussing global economic inequality, during a campaign rally in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan on Saturday (April 9). "Now it goes without saying that I have my strong disagreements with certain aspects of what the church stands for. But he (Pope Francis) has been out there talking about the need for a moral economy. A moral economy!" said Sanders to a cheering crowd. Sanders will speak at an event in the Vatican next week, likely broadening his appeal to Catholic voters ahead of crucial nominating contests in a series of Northeastern states. Like Pope Francis, Sanders has made economic inequality and the plight of the working class a central tenet of his message. Sanders' April 15 visit to Vatican City, where he will give an economic address at a conference, will come just days before Democrats in New York vote in their state primary. Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, is fresh off a string of recent wins and looking to continue chipping away at Clinton's sizable lead in the number of delegates needed to secure the party's nomination. As Democrats in Wyoming prepare to weigh in on the Presidential race, just 14 delegates are up for grabs - fewer than any other state - and even a commanding win by Sanders there would do little to help him close the gap. Clinton currently has more than half of the 2,383 delegates needed to win the nomination. Sanders trails her by 250 pledged delegates, those awarded proportionate to the popular vote in the state nominating contests. Clinton's lead widens when super delegates, Democratic leaders who can decide whom to support at the party's July convention, are included in the tallies. Clinton and Sanders have spent much of the past week in New York, which holds its contest on April 19 and where a total of 291 delegates are up for grabs. Clinton, a former secretary of state, considers New York her home turf. She represented the state as a U.S. senator and has headquartered her campaign in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Sanders has reminded voters he was born and raised in Brooklyn. Recent polls have shown Clinton more than 10 points ahead in the state. Tension between the two candidates flared earlier this week in a party race that has typically focused on policies and not personal attacks.