In Christie's defense: Top Democrat weighs in
February 8th, 2013
10:23 AM ET
1 year ago

In Christie's defense: Top Democrat weighs in

(CNN) - Chris Christie has found a defender amid the latest hubbub over his weight.

David Axelrod, the former top adviser to President Barack Obama, wrote on Twitter Friday:


The doctor is Connie Mariano, the former White House doctor who tended to former President Bill Clinton from 1992-2001. She told CNN Tuesday that she was concerned about Christie's health should he seek the presidency.

"I'm a physician more than I'm a Democrat or Republican and I'm worried about this man dying in office," she said.

On Wednesday the New Jersey Republican fired back at Mariano's assessment, describing her as "just another hack who wants five minutes on TV."

"If she wants to get on a plane and come here to New Jersey and ask me if she wants to examine me and review my medical history, I will have a conversation with her about that," Christie said after touring the post-Superstorm Sandy reconstruction effort in Sea Girt, New Jersey.

"Until that time she should shut up," he fired. The doctor has since stood by her remarks.

Christie has been open about his weight, joking Monday on David Letterman's late night program, "I'm basically the healthiest fat guy you've ever seen in your life." He punctuated the joke by snacking on a doughnut midway through the interview because he "didn't know it was going to be this long."

But he has also talked more frankly about his health, saying Monday that he and his doctors did have a plan for his health, and "whether it'll be successful or not, you'll all be able to notice."

"My doctor continues to warn me that my luck is going to run out relatively soon, so believe me it's something I'm very conscious of," he said.

–CNN's Greg Wallace and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: Chris Christie • David Axelrod
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    And the weapons of mass distraction shall rain down upon ye....

    February 8, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. BKW

    For many, food is a so called drug of choice. Food is used for emotional reasons, to reduce strees, for relief, or to escape from unresolved issues. Turning to food for these reasons can become as addictive as alcohol. And just as it is with an alcoholic, it becomes an habiitual out of control activity to just say no to. It requires professional help to conquer. Anyone using food in this way requires our understanding and support.

    February 8, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. ST

    I didn't know how much people can hate Christie. David Axelrod is saying leave the man alone!!! So that he can die alone??? This is not the way we show love to those people we really care much.

    February 8, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. PJ

    @ST
    -
    Are you kidding me? Axelrod is saying Christie is a grown man very capable of making his own decisions.
    Christie does not need "love" from strangers, he gets the real thing from his family. His doctors advise him,
    and he knows what he has to do. He certainly does not need people like you "weighing" in on his
    personal life.

    February 8, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. Mason

    Who cares. I don't care if he is smoking, drinking and eating 10,000 calories a day. Its all legal and personal choice.

    February 8, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. ST

    @PJ
    You are quite wrong. Christie is at the moment the public figure. This is the person a lot of people want him to get involved in their lives. The chainsaw cuts both ways. If we want him to care for us, we should also show that we do care for him.

    February 8, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. Larry L

    This isn't really about Governor Christie. A huge percentage of the population is in the same shape. On the current trajectory the obesity epidemic will collapse our healthcare delivery system, drive insurance costs through the ceiling, seriously reduce our pool of potential military recruits, and exhaust Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

    February 8, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    President Obama has had some real ugly untrue things said about him but I've never heard him say his children came to him and asked him if it was true. If Christie one day wants to run for President he can't hid behind his kids or anyone else, he's got to "man up" instead of sounding like a big bully, that won't fly.

    February 8, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  9. Larry L

    @Mason

    Who cares. I don't care if he is smoking, drinking and eating 10,000 calories a day. Its all legal and personal choice.
    ================================================================================================

    His "personal choice" will cost us all big bucks and reduce the medical care available! I would agree with you if insurance companies could charge huge premiums for those behaviors – or simply refuse the policy. If, based on your unwillingness quit smoking or lose weight emergency rooms and hospitals could just turn you away. You could just go home to die – fondly remembering all of those jelly donuts and cigarettes you consumed.

    It doesn't work like that! When that morbidly obese person is in the final years of type II diabetes the costs are tremendous. Heart disease and strokes can take years of high-dollar medical treatment before you finally die. These costs are shared by the entire insurance pool – not just those making the "personal choice" to smoke or stuff food into their pie hole. It will break the system – not to mention Medicare and Social Security disability!

    February 8, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  10. Rudy NYC

    I'd bet that Christie is a big fan of Rodney Dangerfield.

    February 8, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. Larry L

    @Claudia, Houston, Tx

    President Obama has had some real ugly untrue things said about him
    ================================================================================================

    What did the President actually say? Do something new... be honest and really think about the words. Turn off Fox News and think for yourself.

    February 8, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  12. PJ

    @ST
    -
    Then you wholeheartedly agree with Michelle Obama's obesity concern for children and support the school lunch
    programs, exercising, etc. That's good to know.
    However, Gov Christie is not a child. And, if, as you say, he has highter political ambitions, he will definitely
    lose that weight for the very reasons you state. You can "care" all you want, but Christie has to "care" about
    himself first. The only "caring" from you he wants is, no doubt, your vote.

    February 8, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    ST wrote:

    I didn't know how much people can hate Christie. David Axelrod is saying leave the man alone!!! So that he can die alone??? This is not the way we show love to those people we really care much.
    -----------------
    Sorry, I beg to differ. When someone has an addiction or bad habit that they need to break, public embarssment and humiliation is not the way you go about helping them. If anything, doing that only makes matters worse for the person. You would think that any competent doctor would know that.

    February 8, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  14. Lee

    There are easier, quicker, and less painful ways to shorten your life than his current plan. I am sure we will hear all the psychological reasons for self destruction next.

    February 8, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    If this is how Christie reacts when people are trying to help hi, I would hate to see how how he might handle a crisis in the White House. He needs to tackle this head-on, and a fit of pique won't help his chances in 2016.

    February 8, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  16. Indeigrl

    Obama is a closet smoker, and according to those who have known him for a while, over the years he has gone to great lengths to conceal his habit. So I don't believe that he has actually quit.

    February 8, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. Mason

    Larry L

    @Mason

    Who cares. I don't care if he is smoking, drinking and eating 10,000 calories a day. Its all legal and personal choice.
    ================================================================================================

    His "personal choice" will cost us all big bucks and reduce the medical care available! I would agree with you if insurance companies could charge huge premiums for those behaviors – or simply refuse the policy. If, based on your unwillingness quit smoking or lose weight emergency rooms and hospitals could just turn you away. You could just go home to die – fondly remembering all of those jelly donuts and cigarettes you consumed.

    It doesn't work like that! When that morbidly obese person is in the final years of type II diabetes the costs are tremendous. Heart disease and strokes can take years of high-dollar medical treatment before you finally die. These costs are shared by the entire insurance pool – not just those making the "personal choice" to smoke or stuff food into their pie hole. It will break the system – not to mention Medicare and Social Security disability!
    _____________________________
    I agree with your point that its worse on our system. The problem is if those closest to him cannot change his behavior its not going to happen. The government is not going to compel him to change. He is an educated person and knows the risks and he has chosen to take them. I never smoked but was a big drinker as a young adult but as you grow older and hopefully wiser you change your habits. Most Americans have a little libertarian streak that makes them embrace choice. He has all the facts and he is not going to be turned away from any hospitals. They are all clogged up where I live with non residents with no insurance and they are served very well so he will get help when that time comes.

    February 8, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  18. Fair is Fair

    Wow... Obama supporter extrordinairre Claudia from Houston TX says one thing against the messiah and the libs turn on her in droves. Sad.

    February 8, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  19. GOP = Greed Over People

    Sorry, Axe, but any public figure with aspirations for the highest office in the land, and therefore, to make decisions that affect my life, I get to speak up.

    And as the good doctor pointed out, a morbidly obese person is a walking heart attack or stroke waiting to happen, if something were to happen to him, my life might be in the hands of a Vice President wanna be, like that turnip in a skirt, what's her face. I vote for the Presidential candidate NOT the VP.

    And to all the white noise, about President O "smoked" vs. Christie's obesity, the operative word is "smoked" when Christie sheds 100+ pounds, THEN the two can be discussed as equals.

    And to the hapless crew of lap dogs called his "posse" yes, he worked 18 hours a day "during Sandy", however, as President you do not get to go back to a lesser pace after a week, EVERY day is an 18 hour day!

    February 8, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Obama is a closet smoker, and according to those who have known him for a while, over the years he has gone to great lengths to conceal his habit. So I don't believe that he has actually quit."

    In all honesty (and in defense of Chris Christie) it is rather hard to conceal the bad habit of overeating. As a smoker myself, I understand how difficult it is to quit smoking. I also understand not wanting folks to see me smoke - especially my grandchildren. Should I quit this awful habit I picked up years ago? You betcha.

    I suspect it is as equally hard for Christie to lose the pounds he absolutely knows he should lose as it is for those of us who smoke to quit the habit that (for whatever our reasoning at the time) we chose to indulge ourselves with and absolutely know is bad for our health.

    February 8, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. GOP = Greed Over People

    And not to put too fine a point on it, as to caring about what Christie does as an adult and how it is his "business"on his personal decisions, I agree, I do not care if he eats until he explodes as long as he does it either as a private citizen or the Governor of New Jersey, as I live in Georgia.

    February 8, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. ST

    @Rudy NYC
    I also beg to differ with you. Public embarrassment can also help a person to break the bad habit. When Christie went to Letterman show, he went to public eyes. Making the matter even worse, he ate the donut publicly while knowing that is his problem though in a jokingly way. If we (the public), can continue to embarrass him, he can eventually stop his bad habit.

    February 8, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. nothing new here

    Here in the south, I have seen people just as big, if not bigger, than Christie.
    I am sure the man realized he has a health issue. But it is his responsibility to address this matter.
    I am more interested in his political ideas. I think Christie is one of the good GOP'ers left, at least the man does not spend 24/7 preaching to everybody.

    February 8, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  24. rob

    That repugnant bigot Christie needs to address his bigoted views before he address his disgusting weight.

    February 8, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  25. Stacy D'Arc

    Obesity is not an "epidemic". It is not contageous. Fat does NOT automatically equal unhealthy. Size is determined by mulitiple factors. Not everyone who is fat eats poorly & gets no exercise. The weight loss, beauty & many other industries find huge profits in encouraging unrealistic images of Ourselves. Makes garden variety bigots feel justified in their bigotry. Makes you buy products to avoid Christie's "fate". Demoniizing people of size is just good for business, You don't care about Christie's health. It's just easier to say "You Fat Fatty" than mount an intelligent rationale about his policies.

    February 8, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
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