In Christie's defense: Top Democrat weighs in
February 8th, 2013
10:23 AM ET
2 years 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. JEANNE

    We all know fat is not good. Christi is talking about it now because is thinks he can make it go away when he runs for President – not going to happen.

    February 8, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Tim

    Fat people: The last bastion of politically correct bigotry.

    February 8, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. ConsiderThis, FL

    His calculation is a miscalculation. He thought he would join in on the "fun" of his fatness; eating a donut on TV. What he didn't realize is that people were laughing at him, not with him. The doctor is right. He's not healthy. And furthermore, Americans like tall, dark and handsome presidents. Just look at this generation's past presidential nominees – all "good looking" men with very few exceptions. Sorry Christie. It is what it is.

    February 8, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. 2012liberal

    Chris Christie brought on the discussion himself when he stated n a press confrence the day b4 clinton dr comment, i quote, 'my dr warns me that my time is running out relatively soon.' has he explained that statement 2 his children? I dont want a man that has no displine with his mouth leading my country. What if Obama behaved that way about his smoking? Get real.

    February 8, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. They Never Learn

    @Quixote-Maybe people can choose to quit eating but they can't either.

    February 8, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  6. 2012liberal

    And by 'mouth' I mean not what goes n it as much as i worry about what comes out of it!

    February 8, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. 2012liberal

    Thank you cnn for report his comment from monday. Media got caught up w tues comment w/o reporting on the bigger picture. No pun intended.

    February 8, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  8. 2012liberal

    Didnt see Obama going off the deep end when he was called out 2 stop smoking. He was humble and faced the challenge head on.

    February 8, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  9. chris christie

    so let me if I can this through my brain Mr Chisty or anyone for that matter your overweight no im not shut the hell says mr Mr Chrisite but Mr Christie I think you would make a great president and you are a great father but you should loose some no i shoulndt shut up lady . Doctor and any other american with a brain ahh mr Chrisite maybe u wouldnt make a great presidnet lol

    February 8, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  10. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Republicans are after him about his weight. If he makes a run for the Presdiency, what is being done now will seem like a birthday party. They will portray him as one feeble heartbeat away from death. Some folks had good blood pressure, good cholesteral, stamina, a resting heartbeat in the 60s and be obese. If Christi's health is good enough, other than his weight, who cares.

    February 8, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  11. Anthony in California

    America.. known around the world for it's guns and obesity problems.......

    February 8, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  12. Facts don't Lie

    @ Fair is Fair......

    you ever notice that the only people who refer to President Obama as the Messiah are your people on the right? I have NEVER heard him nor any progressive make such a claim. So do you guys know something the rest of us don't? And as for Christie I tend to agree with him the doctor could have made such statments in private.

    February 8, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  13. Eioljg

    In many instances, doctors, etc comment on TV about the health or mental health of people that they haven't met. I think that is always wrong, and I think Christie's criticism of her for doing this is spot on. However, he is obviously fat and his further comments seem to actually agree with her assessment of his potential for pending bad health and life style outcomes. It may actually be that she, better than he, understands the demands of the presidency, so her concern is genuine. I think he shouldn't waste a day before following his doctor's advice, whatever that may be.

    February 8, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  14. lmew

    Thin people can get any of the ailments someone overweight can get. Anyone can go at any time, so enjoy your good health now. My grandpa who is thin has type 2 diabetes. Its not just a fat disease.

    February 8, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  15. Susan - Canada

    Everyone who is saying that your President is a closet smoker, especially with his family, seems a little far fetched. Before my husband quit smoking for good...he would try to pretend he wasn't smoking, when I clearly could smell it on his clothes the minute he came in the door and the minute he kissed me, I could smell it on his breath. How anyone could hide they are smoking, is beyond me....but, I could be wrong?

    February 8, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  16. MattBMO

    Right – because GOVERNOR Christie is such a poor little guy that he needs help from the White House and the Democrats to defend him from the remarks of one lowly doctor. What a joke! He's a politician. He's in the spotlight. He's fair game.

    February 8, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. PJ

    That doctor had no right to comment publically on Christie. It is his business. It is one thing to talk about obesity in general; however to pick on a specific person is discrimination and she should be sued. The Governor is aware of his weight and open about it. This doctor is a disgrace to the profession.

    February 8, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  18. Eli

    Frankly I'd take a refreshingly honest, reasonable, and overweight Gov. Christie over an ultra-fit ideologue like Paul Ryan...Christie is getting my 2016 vote if he runs, even though I'm a registered democrat!

    February 8, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  19. Neurotoxin

    No worries, Christie has no chance at the Presidency, even if he has the body of a professional athlete in 4 years. In 2008, Obama was significantly to the left of the other major candidates in his party and this carried him to victory over establishment hacks Hillary and Edwards and then over neo-con McCain. In 2012, centrist Romney won the GOP nomination; but his hopeless unpopularity with supporters of more extreme right candidates Santorum and Paul invariably cost him the election – no matter how much Obama's groupies claim it as Obama's accomplishment. Both parties are becoming more polarized and the 2016 cycle will see a far left candidate vs a far right candidate – no matter how much the media pushes them, centrists like Hillary or Christie will NOT secure either party's nomination.

    February 8, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  20. Fletcher

    They didn't call Taft Big Bill for nothing. While he served four years I am not sure that today it is much more stressful to be President.

    Look at pics of GWB and Obama at thier first presidential address, and look at them four years later.

    Honestly I think the job itself is a widow maker, even for the most healthy P90X nut.
    Christi will live a long healthy life as a big man, but I am not sure if being. president is a good idea for him health wise.

    February 8, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  21. Wes

    I think a liberal somewhere can blame Bush for this.

    February 8, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  22. don

    Christie has no class whatsoever, but I still like him because he is honest. He should be an independent because the way he thinks, he just does not fit in. Regarding him being a President, never, and he does need to go on a diet, period.

    February 8, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  23. blake

    Of course he did. Christie is the Democrats man. The GOP needs to wake up and stop allowing the far left select their presidential nominees. Consistently a moderate and someone that should be easy for the Democrats to defeat.

    February 8, 2013 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  24. Tom

    No PJ, the doctor is not a disgrace to her profession because she is correct. The trouble with right-wingers is they think correctness is wrong. Gov. Christie should get out of denial and follow her advice. If Christie were president of the USA he would be the butt of jokes all over the world. An obese person eating a donut on TV for millions of viewers to see is like a someone lighting up a cigarette while watching an infomercial on the health hazards of smoking tobacco.

    February 8, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  25. kmac

    This country is terrible–now we have come to a point where we dont care what a person stands for or what he says or even what he does. Now its–is he thin. As a rotund person who has dieted for all my life some things like genes one can not over come. I've looked at the lap band and the by pass. Some I know have had success and some had died from them. I going to die–so is the thin guy. We all seem to die.

    February 8, 2013 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
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