July 24th, 2008
09:35 AM ET
6 years ago

Richard Simmons - Congressman?

Could the health guru head for Capitol Hill?
Could the health guru head for Capitol Hill?

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Fitness star and effervescence extreme Richard Simmons is on Capitol Hill today, tackling the issue of childhood obesity and pushing for increased school exercise programs. But as he testifies before the House Education and Labor Committee, the 60-year-old is nodding toward that celebrity siren song: political office.

In a half-serious, half-jocular tone, Simmons described his approach to the hearing, saying, "I want to have the respect of a congressman, I want to talk like a congressman, and maybe, someday, I'll be a congressman."

During three minutes of follow-up questions, Simmons displayed an almost Washingtonian flare for avoiding a direct position. "However I can be of use," he said, "If my country wants me, I'll be there for my country."

So has no plans to run?

"Well," he answered coyly, "I don't know. I may run for office. You never know."

Listen: Simmons speaks with CNN Radio about his political ambitions


True to his cause, Simmons seemed most interested in possible health-related jobs in a new administration. "(The new president) is going to have to look at the statistics of what's happening to our kids," Simmons told CNN Radio, "And then he's going to say who can we turn to? And it certainly isn't the Ghostbusters."

The fitness king cited former wrestler and Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura as an example of the famous turned politician. He's not ruling it out.

"After this congressional hearing, I will go home," Simmons said, "I will talk with my Dalmatian dogs, I will pray to God and then I'll see what else I can do to help."


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (213 Responses)
  1. Cricket

    He could probably do a better job than some we have now.

    GO OBAMA

    July 24, 2008 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  2. Denise Groves

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 24, 2008 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  3. Lorna, NY

    HE IS STILL ALIVE?

    July 24, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  4. Greg, NY

    Well, I guess the bright side of this would be that you won't see anymore overweight congressmen...

    July 24, 2008 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  5. Robert

    I think it's about time for him to buy his first suit.

    July 24, 2008 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  6. Lisa Salt Lake City, Utah

    Run Richard Run

    July 24, 2008 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  7. Elin

    He would be a not so perfect Congresswoman.

    July 24, 2008 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  8. Vietnam COMBAT Vet, OHIO

    Want to be useful to your country, Richard? Join the Army and go to Iraq!!!!! If you get to congress, maybe you could help them get off their dead BUTTS!!!

    July 24, 2008 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  9. Tired of W, OH

    ........Now, that is terrifying...........

    Almost as terrifying as President McCain. God help us.

    July 24, 2008 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  10. Ellie

    I'd VOTE for Richard Simmons before I'd vote for deadman walking McBush!!!

    July 24, 2008 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  11. mark

    are you kidding?

    July 24, 2008 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  12. Tim

    Obama is going to speak in Germany today and this is on the ticker???

    July 24, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  13. Eric

    Yeah, good luck with that. why is this guy news?

    July 24, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  14. No Bam Bam

    During three minutes of follow-up questions, Simmons displayed an almost Washingtonian flare for avoiding a direct position. "However I can be of use," he said, "If my country wants me, I'll be there for my country."

    Great choice for any democratic nomination.

    McCain/08

    July 24, 2008 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  15. John

    I'm sure he will make a good GOP canidate. He does have that pizazz. and likes to wear red. Go Go Richard yeah...

    July 24, 2008 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  16. C-MacK

    This is laughable. What happens to a country where people with no qualifications or experience think they have what it takes to make decisions that affect 260 million people. Quite frankly, its frightening. I'm sure Simmons has the best intentions, but there are alot of other issues pressing america besides childhood obesity. Would he really be of any other use on any other problems facing us? When it comes down to it, intentions don't lower gas prices...and they certainly don't pull troops out of Iraq.

    July 24, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  17. PRinNJ

    If he would be an effective voice in getting today's young people off the sofas and away from the video games, I would vote for him.

    July 24, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  18. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Jesse "The Body" Ventura must be thinking "Apres moi, le deluge!"

    July 24, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  19. milton

    Go Richard. Can't do any worse than what's in there now.

    July 24, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  20. Jason

    What a screwed up country we are becoming.

    July 24, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  21. Texas trail puppy!

    The McCain campaign is quickly becoming a joke after lamenting and whining about Media bias what does he do when a press conference is arranged? He goes into hiding, how pathetic can one be?

    July 24, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  22. aj

    Talking to dogs and praying to God? Sorry Mr. Simmons, we already have a President

    July 24, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  23. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    ye gods, who would vote for him?

    July 24, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  24. Mike, TX

    Hey, if people are willing to vote for Obama they should be more than willing to vote for Simmons. Both are equally qualified (sorry Richard).

    July 24, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  25. proud army and navy mom

    I hope he doesn't wear that orange thing to capitol hill. Simmons doesn't have to worry about obesity with the price of food skyrocketing and will only go higher, he might need a "feed the americans" campaign.

    July 24, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
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