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. Kathy

    I like Richard Simmons. He is funny and cares about people, BUT as a U.S. Congressman! OH NO!

    Richard, PLEASE get yourself some new workout clothes. Longer shorts and a regular tee shirt. I can just see him jogging into a congressional meeting wearing the short shorts and tank tops!


    July 24, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. Barbara

    Oh come on.

    July 24, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. Jon

    Well, as long as he can make a great speech and say 'change' a lot, he'd probably get the votes. I hear you don't need any experience anymore.

    July 24, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  4. rev

    While I really don't think he's qualified to tie his own shoes, I have to say that he couldn't possibly do a worse job than the Republican bozos have done during the last eight years of their alleged 'leadership.'

    July 24, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. susie

    Simmons for President! He has as much knowledge as Obama for the job. Their resumes look the same.

    July 24, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. Who Watches the Watchmen

    Ha that would be funny as HELL he does drive a good point about child hood obesiety but he should stay on the outskirts and put in the work as a private citizen not as a congress man

    July 24, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. Wayne

    Richard Simmons is a whack job with good intentions and a caring heart. This is better than McBush who is a whack job with good PR and a proclivity toward war, torture, anger management issues, hardening of the arteries and getting an F in history and geography.

    July 24, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. mayahh

    A love for his country, gotta love it GO Richard...

    July 24, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. Kansan

    You people are so biggoted! Anyone can run for congress, and anyobody should be encouraged. It is our right to run, and it is also our right not to vote for people. Most people who get elected don't start out with experience. At least with Richard Simmons, I am sure he would be fairly uncorruptable, and if there was a sex scandall you know it would be absoloutly halarious.

    July 24, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  10. gObama

    McCain/Simmons '08

    July 24, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  11. Pennsylvanian

    If I see Obama's face one more time, I might puke!

    McCain 08

    July 24, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  12. bob in fl

    I refuse to vote for Obama unless Simmons is on the ticket!!


    July 24, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  13. r

    I wonder how long it would take him to start crying when he has one of his meetings?

    July 24, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |


    Winning ticket

    July 24, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. Doug, New Jersey

    The sound of his voice alone symbolizes the liberal Democratic party.

    July 24, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  16. Sarah

    Well at least he has more experience than Obama

    July 24, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  17. Mike

    This person is a disgrace to the fitness professionals. He is a complete joke and the media continues to cover his moves and ideas as facts. What a pity!!!

    July 24, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  18. Scott PUMA Alexander

    He has as many qualifications as Barack Obama, so why shouldn't he run for President?

    July 24, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  19. katiec

    CNN, goodness.
    How desperate you are for anything that you think will
    make the news!

    July 24, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  20. Walt, Belton,TX

    Well, he certainly couldn't do any worse than the idiots like our John Carter and most of the others. All he's got to do is find out which local butts he needs to kiss and then sit back and accept all those contributions.

    July 24, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  21. Dan

    The only seats he'd ever win are the "pink" districts in San Fransisco or Philadelphia.

    July 24, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. Ronnie

    probably would fit right in!

    July 24, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. Grandmom Jean

    He's been a great inspiration to many on the importance of maintaining proper eating habits and exercising for health in a light-hearted fun approach to good living. You may question his motivational techniques, but this grandmother says, GO RICHARD, reach your goals as you have motivated so many to do.

    July 24, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  24. Sarah, Northern Colorado

    Oh dear gods, no...

    July 24, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. Linda. Boston, MA

    I hope he realizes that as a congressman he would actually have to wear a suit.

    July 24, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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