July 24th, 2008
09:35 AM ET
12 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. Obama Supporter from Texas

    Who cares????

    July 24, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  2. Devin

    He'd make an absolutely wonderful Democratic candidate. He represents all the best traits of Liberalism.

    July 24, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  3. John

    It doesn't matter who delivers the message.. childhood obesity is a serious problem. Get a grip! Children need to get off the couch and kick the Mt. Dew.

    July 24, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  4. jt

    Hey if Obama can come this far with a razor thin resume, so can Richard.

    July 24, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. Adam in Clearwater

    Not sure where everyone got to thinking that Congressional positions actually have any qualifications other than age and residency, but ... there are none. Who better to have a position that affects 300 million people than a (relative to congressmen, anyway) normal, everyday person. Congress is so out of touch with reality. No politician understands real life. Let someone in there who actually works. Someone who actually understands the necessity for food stamps.

    Richard Simmons 2010!

    July 24, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  6. C in NYC

    I could just see him fillibustering by making congress "Step to the Oldies"...this is the best political news I have heard since I found out the guy who was in Commando and Jingle All the Way was going to be Govenor of California

    July 24, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  7. William, from Cali!

    "Congressman", no less; what an admirable profession to stride for. I, myself would prefer to be the "fitness Guru", there are less of them around,and there are few running for that position......................and do we really need any more "sweaty politicans", right now?

    July 24, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  8. Rene Harris

    You go Richard! At least people know your name and respect you....You got my vote1

    July 24, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  9. G

    To Elin:
    It's sad that you try to degrade him by calling him a Congresswoman. It's nice to see anti-feminism alive and well. Terrible.

    July 24, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  10. Buck

    Was he bawlin' when he said that?

    July 24, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  11. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    Just whar congress needs...another clown!!!

    Any district that votes him in should lose their congressional seat PERMANENTLY!!!

    July 24, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  12. Ian

    "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."

    What are your qualifications and experience in deciding who has what it takes to be responsible for 260 million people? Last time I checked it was called public service. If he thinks he has a service that would benefit the people of this country, that's a heck of a lot better than most of the other candidates that are only out for themselves.

    July 24, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  13. 57 States

    He is more qualified then Obama is

    July 24, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  14. Nostradamus

    I predict a Richard Simmons/ Pauly Shore GOP ticket in the near future. The GOP is pretty much the party of closeted homosexuals at this point; in a few more years it won’t be uncommon to see openly flamboyant GOP senators on the Hill.

    July 24, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  15. Josh

    Dear Richard,

    If you do make it to Congress, how about promoting some fiscal fitness and discipline there? Plz get them off the pork wagon.


    July 24, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  16. JD

    What qualifies any of the politicans that are in power today? Nothing but their fat pockets and what they can get for themselves. This country needs to wake up to the fact that our government is no longer working for WE THE PEOPLE.

    We need to shrink and get rid of most of the heavy weights in government and start taking care of the people in this country with health issues and a sound economy. Lets get our children out and energized about their life and health. I think someone who is interested in the well being of children and their health needs to be thanked for trying to make this country a healthier and more energized Republic.

    Take a look at the food industry and all the chemicals that is in our food today. They say it is to preserve the food so it doesn't spoli. I don't belive that for one minute. We need to make the FDA and other government agencies more accountable for what they are paid for instead of giving them a blank check with our tax payers more and no checks and balance.

    Ron Paul said it the right way. We need a revolution in this country to take back america and get the crooks and thieves out of office.

    July 24, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  17. Bill from Lewisville

    Let's see. A 60-year old fitness guru who has dieted his way to fame, hosted a popular TV show, sold millions of videos and contributed in the private sector.

    Dare I point out that this neophpyte is more qualified for President than a certain Senator from Illinois who has an undistinguished record both public and private?

    July 24, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. 57 States

    He is qualified because he was a community organizer....Thats all it takes from what I have been hearing

    July 24, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  19. marie

    If Obama, why not Simmons? Maybe he could be O's VP-both have enormous egos and love stardom.

    July 24, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  20. Phil, FL

    It's more believable than watching McWarmonger try to form a basic sentence Ha ha ha ha ha

    July 24, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  21. Obama Supporter from FL

    Oh man. And we wonder why our country is screwed up . . . Every two-bit entertainer thinks they can run for office.

    July 24, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  22. Rick

    Re: "Simmons displayed an almost Washingtonian flare" ... The only flare he might display is if his car breaks down on the Beltway. I believe you meant flair.

    July 24, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  23. YO

    Sweatin' in the Policy.

    July 24, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  24. Mike

    Please people on these boards crack me up. Do you know anything about the man other then his character he plays. He has honestly done as much good for the public as half the folks in congress. Get off your high horses and intead of belittling others do something yourself.

    July 24, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  25. Debby

    Hey if Ventura and Arnie were governors, why not Simmons for congressman. LOL

    July 24, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9