It’s not often you get to see a pundit go head-to-head with a nun, but that’s exactly what unfolded on MSNBC’s “The Cycle” on Thursday. Co-host S.E. Cupp (also co-host of TheBlaze TV’s “Real News”) went up against Sister Simone Campbell, the nun known for her involvement in the “Nuns on the Bus” tour, a Catholic social justice program.
The discussion turned a bit sour when Cupp made some points about welfare. While she started by noting that everyone, conservative and liberal, alike, can get on board with decreasing poverty, the co-host noted some major issues with the welfare system as it currently exists.
“Expanding welfare hasn’t reduced poverty,” Cupp said. “In fact, adding millions to the ranks of welfare has seen poverty explode over the past four years, so what’s the balanced response here?”
Sister Simone was less than pleased with this statement. Rather than offering up the “balanced response” Cupp asked for, the nun attempted to debunk the co-host’s contention.
“Excuse me, but that data is really wrong. Poverty has increased; welfare has not,” she said. “The real culprit here is minimum wage.”
The nun went on to note that “a big percentage of the people in poverty are the folks who are working.” The group she was referring to here is called the “working poor” (individuals who hold jobs, but who are still not making enough money to survive).
Sister Simone said that a minimum wage of $12.50 would be needed to keep people out of the ranks poverty. She also noted that she hopes Cupp doesn’t call her a “loafer” when she begins drawing upon her Social Security, a system the faith leader has paid into for years.
“I didn’t call anyone a loafer,” Cupp responded.
Watch the uncomfortable exchange, below: