Comedian Bill Maher compared Bridget Kelly, the former Christie aide connected to "Bridge-gate," to the Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI on Tuesday's Hardball.
Both persons carried out the shady business ordered by a higher authority, Maher explained: "Remember when Benedict was the 'god's rottweiler' or the 'pope's rottweiler' they called him before he got the pope job? Well, she [Kelly] is blob's rottweiler, okay? She knows to do this without actually having to be told."
"The whole reason that you hire someone like Bridget Kelly is to carry out orders like this that you don't actually give," Maher said.
Later in the show Maher and host Chris Matthews compared Pope Francis to Gorbachev and F.W. de Klerk, respectively. Apparently the Catholic church is akin to the Soviet Union and apartheid.
"I think he [Francis] is kind of the Gorbachev of the Catholic church. And I think ultimately maybe his goal is to kind of bring it down," Maher said.
Matthews interjected, "Maybe the de Klerk, maybe the F.W. de Klerk, I would say, maybe. The guy that sees the time has to change."
Below is a partial transcript of the segment:
[7:36 p.m. EST]
CHRIS MATTHEWS: You're from Jersey. Does this smell like Jersey or smell like Chris Christie? Do you smell the fact that there is somebody going to testify like a John Dean in a couple of weeks? I'm betting and hoping actually for Bridget Kelly to talk about what it really was like working for this big guy and what the orders were and the signals were and the atmosphere was. And that's why she had this conversation, "Time for traffic problems in Fort Lee," as if she had been having this conversation for months. Your thoughts.
BILL MAHER: Well, I don't think they'll ever find a smoking ham, you know, to attribute to Chris Christie directly. I think he's too clever for that. That's not how thugs work. The whole reason that you hire someone like Bridget Kelly is to carry out orders like this that you don't actually give. Remember when Benedict was the "god's rottweiler" or the "pope's rottweiler" they called him before he got the pope job? Well, she is blob's rottweiler, okay? She knows to do this without actually having to be told. It's the atmosphere.
MATTHEWS: Let's turn over the pillow to the pope. I know you're not a practicing religious person. You're an atheist, I think, pretty much, which is fair, because you're honest about it. And now the pope. Because it seems to me everybody I know, especially people who are not Catholic, Jewish, Protestant people, whatever, all my friends and workers, they all come up to me and they say I really like this new pope. Is it because he is not exactly talking about religious belief, he's talking about human ideal behavior toward each other and it's something that we could all look to? I don't know how you're going to react to this. But it seems like he struck a note here that even the President, it looks like, in his State of the Union is going to talk about it, inequality of economic life in this world.
MAHER: Right, well, he keeps shaking things up in a way we have never really seen a pope do. He just appointed a bunch of new cardinals which is kind of the way a pope does redistricting. And none of them were from America, you know. They were all from third world places. You know, I'm sure the people in the Vatican, that entrenched bureaucracy that he is trying to unseat, I'm sure they're going nuts, because he keeps saying things that must just blow their minds. The first thing he said when he got into office was that atheists get into heaven. You know when he said that they were like we've got to prepare the poison now.
MATTHEWS: That's not good for business. Let me tell you though, I have to tell you, I went to church this Sunday, and I got to tell you something. It was packed. And as I was going out of church, a guy said is this the pope that is doing this? Is this Francis? That's fascinating stuff from our point of view, I think, that he could actually be bringing people back to listen by what's been said by this guy, this leader.
MAHER: Yeah. I think he is kind of the Gorbachev of the Catholic church. And I think ultimately maybe his goal is to kind of bring it down. I –
MATTHEWS: Maybe the de Klerk, maybe the F.W. de Klerk, I would say, maybe. The guy that sees the time has to change.