(CNN) – Chris Christie has found a defender amid the latest hubbub over his weight.
David Axelrod, the former top adviser to President Barack Obama, wrote on Twitter Friday:
The doctor is Connie Mariano, the former White House doctor who tended to former President Bill Clinton from 1992-2001. She told CNN Tuesday that she was concerned about Christie's health should he seek the presidency.
"I'm a physician more than I'm a Democrat or Republican and I'm worried about this man dying in office," she said.
On Wednesday the New Jersey Republican fired back at Mariano's assessment, describing her as "just another hack who wants five minutes on TV."
"If she wants to get on a plane and come here to New Jersey and ask me if she wants to examine me and review my medical history, I will have a conversation with her about that," Christie said after touring the post-Superstorm Sandy reconstruction effort in Sea Girt, New Jersey.
"Until that time she should shut up," he fired. The doctor has since stood by her remarks.
Christie has been open about his weight, joking Monday on David Letterman's late night program, "I'm basically the healthiest fat guy you've ever seen in your life." He punctuated the joke by snacking on a doughnut midway through the interview because he "didn't know it was going to be this long."
But he has also talked more frankly about his health, saying Monday that he and his doctors did have a plan for his health, and "whether it'll be successful or not, you'll all be able to notice."
"My doctor continues to warn me that my luck is going to run out relatively soon, so believe me it's something I'm very conscious of," he said.
–CNN's Greg Wallace and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.