By Steve Beck
VATICAN CITY (CBS) – Former NBA great Dennis Rodman is in Rome closely following the election process of the new Pope and he spoke with Eyewitness News Wednesday.
Rodman spoke with CBS 3 anchor Susan Barnett about his preferred selection for the next Pope. Rodman also talked his controversial trip to North Korea to meet with Kim Jong Un.
“I just want to see the first black Pope. I think it’s going to be the guy from Ghana,” Rodman said, referring to Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson. Cardinal Turkson is seen by many as one of the frontrunners for the next Pope.
When asked what he wanted to see in the next Pope, Rodman, a self-proclaimed Christian, said the next Pope has to relate to all different cultures.
Rodman jokingly said he plans to ride in the Popemobile on Wednesday.
Rodman then was asked his much-talked about and controversial visit to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in late February.
“We just pretty much hit it off as friends … we started talking about trying to do world peace. He doesn’t want to fight,” Rodman said of Kim Jong Uh.
“You hear a lot of things about nuclear war, we’re going to do this, we’re going to do that. I don’t think he really wants to do that. He wants to talk Obama really, really bad.”
Rodman said he believes Obama has no interest in talking to Kim Jong Un.
“I think he’s just carrying on tradition from his father and his grandfather. If you saw me and him together in North Korea, he was pretty much laughing and smiling a lot.”
“He really doesn’t want war … I think he has to play that role. If anything does actually happen, I guess I’m a failure. I’m a liar.”
Rodman said he is going back to North Korea in August to vacation with Kim Jong Uh to “talk war.”
“He’s not a mad man, he’s not an evil guy.”