February 24, 2004 11:00 AM

On the eve of Mel Gibson’s controversial new movie “The Passion of the Christ,” CBS “60 Minutes” commentator Andy Rooney has pushed some viewers’ buttons by referring to Gibson and TV evangelist Pat Robertson as “wackos,” the Associated Press reports.

During Sunday night’s broadcast, Rooney referenced an earlier statement by Robertson in which Robertson claimed that God told him President Bush would be reelected in November, as well as statements Mel Gibson made about his upcoming film “The Passion of the Christ,” which is due in theaters Wednesday.

Pretending that God had spoken to him as well, Rooney told audiences that God said, “I wish you’d tell your viewers that both Pat Robertson and Mel Gibson strike me as wackos.”

Rooney then wrapped up the commentary saying, “My question to Mel Gibson is: ‘How many million dollars does it look as if you’re going to make off the crucifixion of Christ?'”

The comments reportedly lit up the switchboards at CBS. A spokesman for the network said that CBS received “several times the normal feedback,” AP reports.

Gibson has not issued a comment about Rooney’s statement, but Robertson did not appear too upset about the on-air segment. “Mel Gibson has, without a doubt, created the finest motion picture on the life of Christ of all time,” Robertson said. “I am very happy to be linked by Andy Rooney to a talented genius of the order of Mel Gibson.”

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