It's not appropriate for Pope FrancisPope FrancisEndangered Species Act is a modern-day Noah's Ark — Trump must stop trying to sink it Pope Francis cautions against nationalism, says recent political rhetoric has echoed 'Hitler in 1934' Pope: 'Defenseless people' targeted in US mass shootings MORE to criticize Donald TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE’s proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonCarson's affordable housing idea drawing undue flak Overnight Energy: Trump EPA looks to change air pollution permit process | GOP senators propose easing Obama water rule | Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules it says are too lax MORE said Friday.

“It’s sad we get involved in these kinds of distractions,” he told hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”


“The pope is obviously a good person and tries to look out for everybody,” the Republican presidential contender continued. "But it’s not appropriate for the pontiff to get involved in issues like that. Of course every nation has a right to sovereignty. The Vatican has a right to sovereignty.”

Trump, who is leading polls ahead of Saturday's GOP primary in South Carolina, derided Francis as “disgraceful” Thursday for suggesting the billionaire’s call for a barrier on America’s southern border is “not Christian” earlier that morning. Carson, a Seventh Day Adventist, noted that his religion provides the moral basis for both his political policies and private conduct.

“I would much rather lose that lie,” he said as an example of his principles. "I take my examples from the life of Christ. I make no bones about the fact that I’m a Christian and that I have Christian values.”

Carson, who ranks second-to-last in Republican voter supporter nationwide, added he is not giving up on his quest for the White House just yet.

“There’s a lot of people saying, ‘Hang around, we’ve got your back,’” the retired neurosurgeon said the day before South Carolina’s GOP presidential primary.

“The nice thing for me is that my support comes from ‘We the People.' It’s not about ‘They the Pundits’ or the political class. It’s nine-inning game. You don’t get out after the second or third inning."