February 5th, 2013
08:06 AM ET
10 years ago

Christie takes fat jokes in stride (and with a donut)

(CNN) – His waistline could become a major factor of a potential 2016 presidential bid, but Chris Christie was all laughs Monday reflecting on his weight.

As he sat on David Letterman's couch - facing the comedian who often jabs fun at his weight - the New Jersey governor pulled a donut from his pocket and started nibbling away.

"I didn't know this was going to be this long," Christie joked.

Letterman and his fellow late-night hosts have long mocked Christie for his size, as well as for his pugnacious attitude at press conferences. But the Republican governor doesn't seem to take it personally.

"I only care if you're funny," he told Letterman Monday. "From my perspective, if the joke is funny, I laugh. If it's not funny, I don't laugh. But I've never felt like it was anything that bugged me all that much."

His family is constantly pressing him to lose weight, Christie said, though his doctors still tell him his health is "startlingly good."

"But I just turned 50," he added. "The doctor's now saying that things will start falling off me if I don't start getting things together. But up to this point, pretty good."

His cholesterol and blood sugar are normal, according to Christie.

"I'm basically the healthiest fat guy you've ever seen in your life," he joked.

In December, Christie pushed back at critics doubting his ability to lead because of his weight, calling it "ridiculous" to say he couldn't be president because of his size.

Though he admitted to ABC's Barbara Walters he's "more than a little" overweight, when asked if his size could hinder his ability to run for the White House he said "I don't know what the basis for that is."

"I've done this job pretty well, and I think people watched me for the last number of weeks in Hurricane Sandy doing 18 hour days and getting right back up the next day and still being just as effective in the job, so I don't really think that would be a problem," he said.

The county's largest president, William Howard Taft, weighed in at more than 300 pounds, and in a now-infamous anecdote, had the White House bathtub enlarged after being uncomfortable in a standard sized tub.

Asked by Letterman whether he'd decided on whether to make a bid for the White House, Christie said he was "nowhere near making that decision."

"I have to think anybody who tries to plan at politics that far in advance is crazy, because the world's changed, your life changes," he said, adding that in 2012 his entire family was against him running for the White House.

Filed under: Chris Christie
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Christie may not like being overweight, but I'm sure he's glad he doesn't fit inside the GOP clown car.

    February 5, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    When Christie is not allowing himself to be used by the rabid right-wing as their on command pitbull against all things rational, like our President, I must admit to liking his irreverent and in-your-face approach.
    He almost sounds like his own man, quite refreshing coming from a Rethuglikkklan.

    February 5, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  3. Squigman

    Here's the thing: It matters not whether this man is a republican, or democrat. Why you ask? Because he's not above holding both parties feet to the fire, when he feels that the people are not being represented properly. He's demonstrated this trait several times and if you don't admire this, there's something wrong with you.

    February 5, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  4. Marie MD

    That was funny with Christie on the show. He can take a joke and keep on ticking and that makes him a good guy.
    I did feel quite uncomfortable seeing him not being able to sit in a chair and struggling for air.

    February 5, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  5. Peace

    I always think Chris Christie is a very serious man, but when I saw this picture it cancelled what I believed before. For god's sake how can this man even dare to smell the donut wherever it is, leave alone giving it a bite? I compare this action with a very skinny person throwing up when given food. They are both in the abnormal category. Christie needs to apologise to everybody if at all he wants to be taken as a credible person.

    February 5, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  6. Moose

    Great another celebirty.

    February 5, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  7. Gman

    He shouldn't be wasting that donut. Not with the rising crime rates in NJ directly resulting from his draconian budget cuts on law enforcement. Plenty of out of work cops who could use that donut more than him.

    February 5, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  8. plain&simple

    Christie has the ability to appeal to a broad spectrum of people. This makes him formidable and maybe even the favorite for 2016. When he crossed party lines to compliment Obama he gave the American people what they have been looking for these past four years. That was big! His size will only be an issue if his health is failing or if you dislike fat people. That seems to be the last bigotry accepted in this day and age.

    February 5, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  9. Howard

    Well, laugh this off, Chris. Being President of the U.S. is a job that can ruin the health of truly healthy men. This Democrat would consider voting for you if it weren't for his concern that your VP running mate (whoever that will be) would end up as President because you died of a heart attack or other health issue related to being overweight. I don't vote for Presidential candidates with a dubious health prognosis, and in your present shape, yours isn't anything to write home about.

    February 5, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    "But I just turned 50," he added. "The doctor's now saying that things will start falling off me if I don't start getting things together. But up to this point, pretty good."

    He's got a few years before he passes the point of no return and his weight starts affecting his knees, his heart, and his lungs. Judging from the photo, Christie probably doesn't care, or has no self control. Or both.

    And yes. CNN opened the discussion for Chris Christie weight comments. No doubt they'll get what they bargained for ... and more.

    February 5, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  11. Name lynn

    Chris thats your weight not david letterman, david needs to wash that gray out of his hair, an you do want about your weight.

    February 5, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  12. ST

    Christie's weight has affected him already. Do you think this man can run even for 5 minutes only???? Ask any doctor will tell you, the waist tells a lot about a person. I can't imagine how his belt he puts on looks like!

    February 5, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  13. ugh

    Both of these people are just nasty – one physically obese and the other mentally obese. Is that what American's think are normal? Both are examples of what is wrong with the country!

    February 5, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  14. DL

    President Taft (who some reports say weighed 240 pounds) not only was a decent president, but went on to become a member of the supreme court.

    I like Christie. If he runs for President, even though I am "mostly" democratic, I may vote for him.

    February 5, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  15. karen in texas

    One of my closest friends was the "healthiest fat guy" you have ever met. He was 6'1, 350 pounds with perfect blood pressure, perfect chloresterol–a clean bill of health except for his weight. One night I got the phone call that he had died of a pulmonary embolism at 46. Overweight is not a joking matter.

    February 5, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  16. plain&simple

    @ST ever hear don't judge a book by It's cover? What can can you tell about a person by their skin color? How about their hair? Long hair? Short hair? How about judging people by what they do and say? How they treat others? What values they show? His waistline is his. That's all it says.

    February 5, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota


    Christie's weight has affected him already. Do you think this man can run even for 5 minutes only????

    Great point, ST. It's doubtful he can walk for 5 minutes, let alone run. What a waste ... yes?

    February 5, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  18. Janet

    I wish him well, but wasn't he rushed to the ER last year or the year before with shortness of breath? believe he said then that it was asthma. I started to respect his views this past year (I live in NJ) but concern about his health would prevent me from voting for him in 2016.

    February 5, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  19. Joe

    As a growing portion of America is overweight or obese, I see Mr. Christie's weight as a positive for his electability. A true representative of the American people. I like that he accepts what he is with humor, and I think the last thing we need is another president that's all image and no substance. I'd take Christie over the best qualities of Romney and Obama glued together.

    February 5, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I'm of average weight, having said that, I don't think it fair to judge him based on his weight. Whatever the reason for his current bulk I do not perceive him as a stupid man. He is aware of the inherent dangers of carrying that weight around. His life, his mouth, his choice. We all have our little "outlets" don't we. His MIGHT be food. Who knows but him. On the other hand, I've seen so-called heavy-weights outlive, and out enjoy life more than the current trend of anorexic super-moms.

    February 5, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    ...But if he's thinking about running for the Presidency...well, something needs to change. The inherent stress in that position will take a toll on ANYONE'S ticker.

    February 5, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  22. Mshell

    Mr. Christy is a breath of fresh air. His weight is none of our business and has no effect on what kind of a person he is and his ability to be in the political arena. Leave him alone. He is intelligent, and I have respect for him.

    February 5, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  23. Just An Average Guy

    If he runs for president, his questionable health status would make his VP selection extremely important.

    February 5, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota

    I'm of average weight, having said that, I don't think it fair to judge him based on his weight. Whatever the reason for his current bulk I do not perceive him as a stupid man.

    Well, my friend, there you go, putting me in my place! I agree with your post in so much as it is his danger and his alone if he chooses (and apparently he does chose) to be overweight. But, no. This doesn't make him stupid (and I totally agree that he is NOT stupid). As someone who spent last winter shedding some unnecessary weight, not doubt I'm a bit overwhelmed seeing that donut heading for his mouth. It reminds me of my husband who constantly brings home goodies for me to smell while he munches away in calorie free oblivion. A prejudice of mine that I need to overcome by not pointing fingers at others, yes?

    February 5, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. Sly

    Ok politician for a Republican.

    Zero chance of running for President, as he appeals neither to the right nor the left.

    Americans will not vote for a obese man. Period. End of discussion. He is a grossly abnormal person at that weight.

    February 5, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
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