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. Truth B Told

    LOL What a joker... His chest hair is just as long as the hair on his head! LOL

    July 24, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  2. Ian

    Hopefully he can have some influence on getting phys. ed. and other activities back into schools.

    July 24, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  3. Shane from Chicago

    All I have to say is yes....kids are way too fat these days

    July 24, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  4. Moody

    Watch out Larry Craig. This one may have a little more "flare" than you.... hahahaha... Richard speaks like a democrat but has the personal life of a republican.

    July 24, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  5. Jim in SoCal

    He can't be any worse than what we already have.

    July 24, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  6. dietrich harris

    what exactly made Arnold qualified to be Governor?

    July 24, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  7. Anne - VA

    I say "Go for it Sir Richard"...

    If anyone can do it (Fight childhood obesity) he can...and that's because he's known to attack from the "Source"...which is the "HOME".

    I think it should be a form of child abuse the way these parents WATCH their children expand and explode in regards to their weight.

    For many parents...Misery loves company. Find a fat kid, find a fat parent!!! 9 times out of 10...

    Sir Richard will address all the issues of childhood obesity.

    He has my vote....

    July 24, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  8. TelegramSam

    Somebody needs to go get David Letterman and a fire extinguisher.

    July 24, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  9. Justin

    How would Larry Craig have avoided this scandal I wonder? It's too bad he got caught so before this, I feel like we really missed out on some great SNL skits.

    July 24, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  10. Jason

    He would carry the liberal vote!

    July 24, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  11. JIM, MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA

    Good. His native congressional district is currently represented by Congressman "Dollar Bill" Jefferson, the New Orleans crook that was caught with $90,000 in his freezer.

    Richard knows New Orleans. However, I doubt that the Black dominated city would elect him.

    July 24, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  12. Why Not?

    Why not? who else knows better about obesity/childhood obesity – a very serious issue. Kids not living as long – there have got to be some restraints put on fast food places, etc. Like the new 2300 calorie Baskin Robbins shake...people don't live long eating like that...Medical issues in the next generation are going to be tragic. As far as other political issues, i guess other celebrities learned – why can't he? He has good intentions and has always been true to himself.

    July 24, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  13. Gary

    What the hell?! He can't be any worse than anyone else we have in congress, and he might make the country a little less OBESE for a change!

    July 24, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  14. Clinton Fringer

    To what...............the same thing that qualifies Obama to be president. Nothing.

    July 24, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  15. KJ

    This is just waay too funny....you've got to be kidding me!

    July 24, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  16. PELOSI SUCKS

    LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    hey if obama can do it, i'm sure this clown can too

    our government is a circus.

    July 24, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  17. Ron Feuer, Charlotte, NC

    We need more people like him...Richard is great! I would think that if Gene Simmons is related to Richard, then Gene should run also...These are family oriented individuals and good for the human race to pattern after!

    July 24, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  18. Morningstar

    Bob Indianapolis, IN , This is America, land of endless possibilities so I will say to you: "Après le déluge apparaîtra l’arc-en-ciel, signe d’une vie meilleure!"

    July 24, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  19. Ann

    Richard is a good man. I would vote for him.

    July 24, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  20. Patty

    Oh please, are you kidding me?

    July 24, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  21. rumpusgoopus

    Too... many... jokes...

    July 24, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  22. Anonymous

    IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN, TO MUCH FEAR MONGERING.

    July 24, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  23. Jacqui

    After seeing Criss Angel sawed in half last night, I'd thought I'd seen it all. After reading that Richard Simmons coyly suggests a run for office, I know I've seen it all. This is richer than rich without the Bling.

    July 24, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  24. People make no sense

    Anybody is better than McBush.

    July 24, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  25. 68 year old voter

    This country is so shallow and screwed up! The utterance of a has been entertainer seeking notoriety is worth posting?

    July 24, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
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