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. Disgusted

    Good for you, Mr. Christie! If someone is underweight, would that be a problem for the libs? If the man is qualified, then he should be elected, regardless of size. At least he has held a job other than community organizer, and has done a great job!

    February 5, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. Pete

    @jerzygurl135,hey where have you been since Pres.Obamas inaugeration,they've never stopped bashing him about everything .Republicans set new standards for racism and plain stupidity since he took office so quit ranting when you've been obviously been asleep since 2009!!

    February 5, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  3. yippeeskip

    As an Independent, I would vote for him...he seems like he has more common sense in his little finger than most have in their entire body.

    February 5, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC


    I get a big kick with all the liberals bashing Christie because of his weight and the health concerns. Where are these phonies when it comes to admonishing Obama and his nasty habit with the cancer sticks?
    A swing and a miss. Pres. Obama has quit already. His partner in breaking the habit, Boehner, still smokes.
    Another swing and a miss. Most all of the severe Christie bashing is from the far right. Uninformed liberals love him.

    February 5, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. svscnn

    Gotta love Christie. I may not always agree with his politics, but he's a straight shooter and has a sense of humor.

    February 5, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. Chris

    I don't see the issue with his weight. It's not like skinny politicians are doing a great job.

    February 5, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. norma jean

    At first glance..I didn't care much for Christie and felt that his weight would bring him down before he got a chance to prove himself...but putting it aside....I really l;ike hiis attitude...he and the president worked together {which most Repubs won't do} and he seems to be a thinking man that probably will be a strong contender for Pres.....Go for it Chris...!!! You have the right attitude!!!!

    February 5, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. Tracy

    This man is grossly overweight . anybody see his side profile when he walking around during Hurricane Sandy . Usually they try to hide his size by placing him behind podiums . His weight is a serious serious issue . I rthink it will be a problem with him getting the republican nod and winning the white house. I saw the man in person his size given his shortness is shocking in person .

    February 5, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  9. stephen48739

    In other news, Governor Chris Christie was arrested in N.Y.C. for possession of a 64 oz. Slurpie from a 7-11 store.

    February 5, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Circle R

    With over a third of Americans falling in the obese range, Christie, sadly, probably represents the new normal in terms of his size. So I really don't think it would hinder him much in a possible bid for the White House, unless his health becomes a noticeable issue. As for the man himself, although I consider myself a slightly left of center Democrat, I really kind of like the guy! He is not afraid to speak his mind nor to work with the Dems on key issues, which is refreshing. Plus, having a sense of humor would serve him well on the campaign trail...

    February 5, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. angeson

    Christie would make a big target for the T party. They'd deem him unfit cause he shakes hands with democrats.

    February 5, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  12. DontGetRepubs

    I consider myself a liberal. I do not connect with any republican view to date, except thier fiscal conservative views have some merit, not when we are in a great recession, but in general they have some valid points raised on this front. That said, Christie seems to be the ONLY Repub that has any common sense since Lincoln...so sad that one of the two major parties running our country have so few competent elite...and so supprising? This is the greatest mystery to me...why do people stand for Palin/Bush/Limbaugh/

    February 5, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. RyeRY

    At least he can take a joke! A politician with a sense a humor is more easily approachable and comes across as more of a human being.

    February 5, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. DENNA

    Chris Christie is awesome – and this from a staunch liberal Obama supporter. So far the only Republicans who have made sense to me recently are Gov. Christie and former Gov. Jeb Bush. Both have suggested, along with Gov. Bobby Jindal, that the GOP will need to make some real changes if they want to stay a viable party. Unfortunately, Gov. Jindal threw in several snide remarks about the Democrats (a knee-jerk reaction) with his speech, but yeah, the GOP is really going to have to get it together. The GOP has several "rising stars" in their party but I would seriously look to Gov. Christie. He seems to have a large dose (no pun intended) of real common sense.

    February 5, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  15. Kimber

    I don't know about him running for President, but he could probably walk it....

    February 5, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. lisa s n.j.

    I really like my Gov. Chris Christie. He cares about solving problems and the people he governs.

    February 5, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  17. lisa s n.j.

    I would hate to loose Chris Christie as a Governor but I think he would be good for the country.

    February 5, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  18. Brad P

    Chris Christie did to Mitt Romney what Reagan did to Ford in 1976. What a puke!

    February 5, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. DENNA

    @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.
    You are absolutely right Squigman. Gov. Christie has a broader (not trying to be funny here) appeal than any Republican out there today. Only the rabid, far extremes of either party won't like him. I think this man has a really good chance at the presidency. The Democrats will have to come up with someone spectacular to beat him, and the Republicans? He is the very, very best they have available. The GOP would do well to embrace him. But since they are collectively a smart party, who knows?

    February 5, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  20. Mike

    Obesity is no laughing matter and I'm disgusted by Chris Christie's behavior even though he was self depracating. Obesity and obesity-related illnesses are a serious problem and this country shouldn't be laughing. I don't care how popular he is, someone who allows themself to become this overweight obviously has no self discipline and certainly isn't fit to lead. And for him to say that he's healthy because of lab values is ludicrous. I guarantee that he will become very sick within a few years if he doesn't reverse this dangerous medical condition.

    February 5, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    give the fat guy a chance

    February 5, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  22. cat sighting

    Christie can eat himself to death as far as I'm concerned, he is nothing but an Obama butt buddy now and has done very little for the Sandy people from what the worthless news channels claim.

    February 5, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  23. Sunshine100

    I've reflected on Govenor Christie's health issues such as the diabetes he probably will develop if he continues to be overweight (in the obese column of fat). His heart is very stressed from the obesity, even moreso if/when he develops diabetes. Regardless of these "what ifs", as a long time Democrat, I'd vote for the Governor IF, IF, he chooses a running mate/Vice President worthy of the office and who has the willingness to genuinely work "with" the Democratic party. Better yet, it would be the best political campaign if Christie chose a Democrate for his VP. YeeHa!

    February 5, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  24. Rhonda

    As a conservative Democrat I respect Gov. Christie. He has a sense of humor, pretty much says what he thinks and feels, stands up for his constituents, and seems down to earth. But, he also can be very mean-spirited and disrespectful to people who disagree with him. I do not agree with his stance on unions, and the role of gov't in general. I respect his support for Pres Obama's actions on his state's behalf, despit party "loyalty". He is somewhat of an enigma

    February 5, 2013 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  25. rayzee

    CNN was incredibly biased by airing the comments of a former White House doctor about the dangers of Chrisie's weight. The woman has never examined him or taken his temperature let alone blood pressure. It was simply irresponsible.

    February 5, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
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