March 1st, 2010
09:02 PM ET
12 years ago

Spokesman: Obama indulges in pie, occasional cigarette

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A White House spokesman mentioned cheeseburgers as one possible reason for President Obama's elevated cholesterol level which was found Sunday in his first physical since taking office."]
Washington (CNN) - After President Barack Obama's doctor gave him a "clean bill of health" over the weekend - with a recommendation to lower his cholesterol and continue to try to quit smoking - the White House was flooded Monday with questions about the president's habits and health.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs blamed Obama's elevated cholesterol level on a less-than-ideal diet he ate during the course of the campaign.

"I think he would be also the first to tell you that he has probably had a few more cheeseburgers and I think he would admittedly tell you he's had more desserts in the last year than I've seen him eat prior to this," Gibbs said.

He also said, now as president, Obama enjoys a White House kitchen and chef, completely at his disposal.

"I think most people will tell you that if it's available you're more likely to eat it. And I think he's had more access to sweets and desserts in the past year than he - look, those guys make good desserts over there and I think he's on more than one occasion sampled more than he needed to," Gibbs said.

The president's eating habits are not as healthy as people believe, Gibbs said.

He joked, "All you guys think he eats carrots and celery - and there's more cheeseburgers, fries and pie than you previously knew. You guys thought he, like, carried arugula in his pocket to snack on, and now all of a sudden he's ... breaking into my office looking for quarters for the vending machines."

When Gibbs was asked whether the White House pastry chef had been given a mandate by the first lady to cut down on giving her husband sweets, Gibbs joked, "the president loves the pastry chef." Michelle Obama has made fighting childhood obesity her signature issue.

As for the president's smoking, Gibbs said Obama continues to chew nicotine gum, and "occasionally falls off the wagon when it comes to that - like many who have struggled with kicking that habit."

Gibbs said he did not know who the president "bums smokes from" but that he "struggles" fighting "the addiction ... each and every day."

The president makes it a point not to smoke in front of his children or in public, as to not set a bad example, the White House spokesman added.

Obama still believes he's "95 percent cured" from his smoking habit, Gibbs said.

"The president understands that his health is more than just something that should be of concern to him and those that know and love him, but that his health is important based on the responsibility that the American people gave him in the election," Gibbs added.

Filed under: Extra • Popular Posts • President Obama • White House
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. hallosev

    Cut the guy a break. With his schedule, and the fact that he can never be seen with a cigarette, he probably smokes 5 or so cigarettes a day. Big whoop.

    March 1, 2010 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  2. Jessica in IL

    It is hilarious to me that the president needs to "bum a smoke." (health issues aside)

    March 1, 2010 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  3. Always someone else to be blamed

    As usual, if something goes wrong with obozo, someone else must take responsibility, even though it's solely his own fault.

    His cholesterol is bad, then it must be the chef's "fault". Very disgusting.

    March 1, 2010 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  4. Anya

    Oh jesus. Now we know Obama eats pie. Thank god for CNN.

    March 1, 2010 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  5. Doug Kennedy

    Who really cares, its his business not ours.

    March 1, 2010 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  6. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    They talk about President Obama likes he's an alcoholic like GWB, but then again that's what the GOP has grown acustome to in a president.

    March 1, 2010 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  7. jonas

    ok. either Cnn needs to fire some of its employees or needs to find some good news worth reading. we heard this story a few days ago and yet some of the jornalists are still beating their cheasts over it. go get a better news. thanks

    March 1, 2010 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  8. John

    Spokesman: Obama indulges in pie, occasional cigarette

    And the right again comes unglued, accusing Obama of being the anti-Christ, among other evils.

    March 1, 2010 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  9. Lori

    Let's have an investigation! Let's spend millions of dollars to find out who is providing his smokes. Leave the poor guy alone. The GOP has tried to uncover any dirt on this president that they can. He's clean....

    March 2, 2010 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  10. paul

    95% cured? Is that kind of like "jobs created"?

    He smokes, so what. I hate that this Gibbs clown makes excuses.

    March 2, 2010 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  11. EuphioTGank

    there is no such thing as being 95 % cured of smoking another example of a president in denial. when are people going to wakeup to the fact that this emperor not only has no clothes, he has no clue.

    March 2, 2010 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  12. jules sand-perkins

    I am far more concerned about the President's ANNOUNCED taste for prole food than his health. If he really prefers the taste of hamburgers and freedom fr–uh, pommes frites to the really substantial cuisine he could afford at any price, how discerning could his mind be about matters of importance to our entire nation?
    Gibbs cutely said, "you guys thought he, like, carried..."
    With examples of speech like that one from Gibbs, is it any wonder that students in public schools have trouble conjugating verbs, and, as a result, performing a job well enough for the employer to prosper and continue to hire them?

    March 2, 2010 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
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