WASHINGTON (CNN) - New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine said Monday that a recent ad about his Republican challenger should have used a different expression than "threw his weight around," a turn-of-phrase which some political observers took as an effort to ridicule Chris Christie because of his waistline.
Late last month, the Democratic governor released a campaign ad that focused on what the Corzine campaign views as Republican Christie's track record of using his status as a U.S. attorney to gain special treatment in New Jersey. But the ad measured accusations by "weight."
"If you drove the wrong way down a one-way street, causing an accident and putting the victim in a trauma center...would you get away without a ticket?" the announcer said in the 30-second Corzine television ad. "Chris Christie did...."
"Christie threw his weight around as U.S. attorney and got off easy," the ad said.
In a recent debate and last week on CNN's "Situation Room," Christie directly responded to the ad's implication about his size.
"I'll let all of your audience in on a little secret," Christie told CNN's Wolf Blitzer last Wednesday, "I'm overweight and I've struggled with my weight for the last 30 years on and off and that's the way it is."
Christie also told Blitzer that he thought the Corzine ad was "beneath the office [Corzine] holds," and the New Jersey Republican slammed his opponent for not admitting that the ad was targeted at his weight rather than his conduct.
Appearing on "Situation Room" Monday, Corzine insisted that the controversial ad was meant to highlight Christie's behavior.
"I don't give a hoot about his weight," the New Jersey governor told Blitzer. Echoing themes in the ad, Corzine also said Monday that Christie had a pattern of receiving special treatment.
"How many people can abuse their power, abuse their office by flashing their credentials - throwing their weight around - however you want to say it," Corzine said on CNN.
Asked whether the ad should have used a different phrase than "threw his weight around," Corzine said, "That's probably a good idea," because of the distraction the weight controversy has caused.
Corzine and Christie face off in New Jersey's gubernatorial election in just eight days. A new poll out Monday showed Corzine leading Christie by 9 points.
–CNN's Emily Sherman contributed to this report.
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