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. Olive Oil (a-guhg-guhg-gugh)

    In a single word... FABULOUS!

    July 24, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  2. anna ga

    Maybe Mccain could choose him as his VP. This would definately liven up the old guy!!!!!!

    July 24, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  3. anna ga

    We have had Cooter and Gofer, why not? As long as there is a dress code enacted and strictly enforced. At least he cares about something.

    July 24, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  4. shantelle

    this is one of the many things that make our country a Joke..

    July 24, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. Joe

    Seriously, who cares? Is this really news? The MSM is getting really pathetic as to what they think is newsworthy.

    July 24, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. Yobee

    Wouldn't Richard more likely be skipping for office?

    July 24, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. daniel from chicago

    Well, these days, it's about the media's hype around you. So, if you can get the media on your side, then you're golden!!

    July 24, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. No More McLies!

    He's make a better PRESIDENT than McGaffe!

    July 24, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  9. anna ga

    Wait, Ive got it. He can de throne Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House and instead of banging the gavel he could toss out confetti or maybe sugar free candy and all the Congressmen and women could dive for it. Wouldn't that be a sight!!!!!!

    July 24, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  10. Chet Holly

    Check him for a "Wide Stance in the Stall".

    July 24, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  11. George

    Jesse Ventura, Cooter and Gofer, Sonny Bono, Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Hmm. A bunch of people with little alleged political talent who by most accounts have done a pretty good job.

    Why not Richard Simmons?

    At least wear a t-shirt though.

    July 24, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  12. Jeff

    At least he is someone that has mastery at something besides getting rich from corporations and spending other peoples money.
    I would like to see Valerie Bertinelli run for office but I think she is too centered and normal for Washington.

    July 24, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  13. Ms C

    Don't worry Richard- if the enconomy doesn't get better fast, the whole world will be anorexic, except the oil companies and the Bushes'

    July 24, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Veronica

    Richard's cause is a good one, but that doesn't mean he'd make a good congressman. But, you never know. Schwarzeneggar is doing a good job as governor of CA, and Reagen, well, I'll stop there.

    July 24, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  15. Mike

    Ask Richard if he knows where Czechoslavakia is? If he knows it is no longer a Nation. Then let him be McLame's VP candidate. Then at least someone on the ticket will have some overseas credentials.

    July 24, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  16. ClintonDem4Cynthia08

    Who cares about him? Lets talk about Cynthia becomming president in November!! ha ha... so much for Obamas black vote. ha ha!

    July 24, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. elliott

    Gag!!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha .........

    July 24, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. Mark

    If he expects anyone to take him seriously he could start by looking the part and acting responsibly. I skiied professionally for years but I dont wear ski boots to dinner. Cmon Richard, its grow up time.

    July 24, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  19. AW


    July 24, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  20. Hector

    if he can help the nutty professor he can help us!

    July 24, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  21. anna ga

    Letterman – Start writing you top ten election slogans for Richard Simons. I will be watching!!!

    July 24, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  22. James Hussein, SC


    July 24, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. Slider

    I'll take the article written by Glenn Beck today over puff (sorry, richard) pieces that this rag of a news source constantly throws out like some chimp in a cage tossing his bodily waste toward his curious onlookers.

    CNN has become the cream filling in the big Twinkie known as our national news media.

    Thomas Jefferson and Solzhenitsyn were quite right about this "polluted vehicle" as well.

    Apparently, so is Glenn Beck, "We've become a country that continually chooses the sizzle over the steak.", he says.

    Yep, look at who's getting the majority of news coverage, and hasn't said anything substantive throughout it all. Problem is, we'll all be the fat in the fire if this media created boob gets elected.

    July 24, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  24. Gastric bypas patient from Obesity help.com

    Richard Simmons would be a great congressman. He cares about obesity, many other people havent had experinece in politics put have made career changes. Richard can make a difference. He is is scandal free and honest. I am sure he is knowledgeable on many thiungs this country needs and knoe\ws what neds to be done. I hope he does run. And yes Prayer does work.

    July 24, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  25. William

    This 2 paragraphs of writing was a wast of time. This isnt news worthy nor is it worth printing it is a non story.

    July 24, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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