Former New York mayor disappointed at absence of discussion over "anti-Catholic" comments in presidential debate

2016-10-20 11:19:45 GMT2016-10-20 19:19:45(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

by Matthew Rusling

LAS VEGAS, the United States, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, a strong supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, said Wednesday night that he was disappointed that the issue of anti-Catholic comments by team Hillary Clinton was not discussed in the just-concluded third debate.

"The anti-Catholic statements were outrageous and it's too bad they didn't come up (in the debate)," Giuliani told Xinhua in the spin alley after the 90-minute final public faceoff between Trump and Clinton at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

"There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton and her whole crew...are anti-religious," Giuliani said.

"They're not just anti-Catholic. They're anti-evangelical...Anybody who's religious must be dumb, stupid or ignorant," he said, sarcastically paraphrasing what he believes are team Clinton's core opinions.

Giuliani's statements came not long after the recent release of emails from the website WikiLeaks, in which Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta made snide and anti-Catholic remarks.

In a separate email, Clinton communications chief Jennifer Palmieri also made insulting remarks toward the Catholic Church, a religion that has tens of millions of followers in the United States and hundreds of millions worldwide.

Indeed, Christians, especially evangelicals but also some Catholics, are one of the Republican Party's key groups, and Catholic leaders over the past week have blasted Clinton's team for making those statements.

While the United States was founded on the idea of a separation between church and state, millions of Americans report that they are Christians of one denomination or another.

"It's too bad that it didn't come up," Giuliani said, referring to the debate, which did not see Trump attack Clinton over the issue.

Clinton actually thinks that people convert to Catholicism rather than evangelical because it's a little more acceptable to be a Catholic than it is to be an evangelical, he said.

"I know she doesn't like Catholics and evangelicals. That's quite clear. She has disdain for Catholics and evangelicals," he added.

Clinton has been silent on the issue since it came out earlier this month.