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U.S. Rep. Bob Brady on Stephen Colbert’s pope glass dig: ‘I could care less’

Last month, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady helped himself to Pope Francis’ water glass after Il Papa visited our fine city — a move that resulted in a particularly incredulous response from Late Show host Stephen Colbert.

Last month, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady helped himself to Pope Francis' water glass after Il Papa visited our fine city — a move that resulted in a particularly incredulous response from Late Show host Stephen Colbert.

Now, Rep. Brady has responded to Colbert's digs, explaining his attitude toward the situation simply.

"I could care less about Stephen Colbert," Brady told the Philadelphia Citizen's Larry Platt, who also is a former Inquirer columnist. "F--- Stephen Colbert."

Not much wiggle room for interpretation there.

Brady also recalled the glass-taking incident that lead to Colbert making fun of him, explaining it as a "why-the-hell-not" type of situation:

"I saw him drink from that glass three times," Brady recalled. "And I kept saying to myself, 'I'm getting that glass.' I didn't steal it. I asked the sergeant at arms if I could have it. It was just going back into a dishwasher. I got a vial of the water with me right now. There's a guy in DC whose kid is sick and if I can make him feel a little bit better by letting him bless his kid with this water, why not?"

Since he got the glass, Brady says, that's what he's been doing: letting others dip their fingers into what's left of the pope's water and bless themselves. His grandkids, a cancer patient, a Channel 6 cameraman. "If I can make them a little happier, if I can help them feel a little closer to the Holy Father, why the hell not?" he asks.

And given the way his constituents have responded to his taking Pope Francis' glass, it's pretty clear why Brady isn't running to apologize — even with some ribbing from Colbert. Consider one man's interaction with Brady over the glass:

"Yo Bob," shouted a smiling construction worker, while women in dresses and men in three-piece suits smiled, "you got any of that pope water with you?"

There was laughter all around. "Nah, nah," replied the congressman, wearing an old-school track suit, stopping to shake hands. "Not with me, but what the hell? Like I'm not gonna take that cup?"

Or, for another example, his granddaughter Serena's response:

Next to him was Serena, his granddaughter, a freshman at a nearby college. He was taking her to school. "All my friends think it's the coolest thing he took that glass," she said, and the others in line seemed to agree.

And with support like that, who needs the OK from Stephen Colbert? As Brady told Platt for the piece, he's not worried about anyone's interpretation of pretty much anything if "they're not from Philly."

With that in mind, even Brady spokesperson Ken Smukler's response to the Colbert jokes seems fitting, especially considering his boss' interepretation. As Smukler said last month, Pope Francis apparently thought the incident was "amusing."

"What u and colbert find sick the pope actually found to be amusing," he wrote to Philadelphia magazine in late September. "Guess that's the different between one with love in his heart, ones looking for a punchline, and you … then again it may be a Catholic thing and what would I know about that — I'm jewish."

Still, though, for all that bluster, it seems like Colbert is the one coming out on top here. Because, really, funny beats furious almost every time.

"Dude, what the hell is wrong with you?" Colbert asked Brady on the Late Show last month. "Here's the thing, it won't give you superpowers. It's not like being bitten by a radioactive pope."

[Philadelphia Citizen]

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