Democrat Congressman to Sharpton: 'You and the Pope Are on the Same Wavelength'

By Melanie Arter | December 2, 2013 | 11:49am EST

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) (AP Photo)

( – Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) told the Rev. Al Sharpton of MSNBC on Wednesday that Sharpton and the pope are "on the same wavelength."

McDermott's observation on what he perceives as the similarity between Sharpton and the pope came up in a discussion of food stamps.

McDermott noted that when Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish, “he didn’t charge food stamps.”

“When Jesus had those five loaves and two fishes, he didn't charge food stamps. He didn't ask anybody how much money they had. He fed them because they were hungry, and that's really where we ought to be,” McDermott said in response to Republican critics of the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

In September, the House approved a plan by Republicans to cut $39 billion in food stamps over the next 10 years. In 2009, there were 33,489,975 people on food stamps. As of Nov. 8, 2013, a total of 47,666,124 people participated in the SNAP program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

“Congressman, what do your Republican congressman say to you when you tell them how much their policies are really hurting real people, real poor people?” Rev. Al Sharpton, host of “PoliticsNation,” asked McDermott.

“They really don't believe it, Rev. They're not listening to the pope. You and the pope are on the same wavelength. The income equality is just going by most of these people. What they ought to be done is require that they go to a food bank at a church or something, somewhere in their neighborhood and stand there and talk to the people,” McDermott said.

“You would find out these are not people who are not trying. They're not people who are taking from the public. They're not people who want to be there. They're people who are ashamed in many instances to be doing something they never thought they’d be brought to, and they're having difficulty, and we're the richest nation in the world,” he added.

“And he didn't call them names,” Sharpton said.

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