In Christie's defense: Top Democrat weighs in
February 8th, 2013
10:23 AM ET
10 years ago

In Christie's defense: Top Democrat weighs in

(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.

Filed under: Chris Christie • David Axelrod
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. StupidDoc

    If i look at this doctor, she looks sick in the brain. She looks deranged?

    February 8, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Caiha

    Duh, of course a dem wouldn't want him to still be alive in 2016.

    February 8, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. Bunny

    I would imagine that harassing someone about his weight would be like harassing someone to quit smoking – it's not going to work until he decides for himself that he wants to lose weight and be healthier. If he and his doctors have developed a plan, we probably won't see a drastic short-term drop in weight; hopefully, it'll be a lifestyle change that produces sustainable long-term results.

    I personally wouldn't hold weight against a candidate. I'd rather take a chance on someone overweight than someone I felt was of lesser character.

    February 8, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  4. jackson


    Duh, of course a dem wouldn't want him to still be alive in 2016.


    I am a Democrat and I have no problem with Christie whatsoever.

    I *DO*, however, have a problem with your assumptions and your attempted divisive behavior. It is your kind of divisiveness that is making this country angrier and it is your kind of divisiveness that is getting in the way of the job that needs to be done in this country.

    So maybe you need to examine your OWN motivations, before you dare to questions what you think others are feeling.

    February 8, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. Romney is Still NOT My Hero

    Christie is one of those people who you tell them to stop doing something and they continue doing it just to spite you. We have to remember that he is a Repub after all. Maybe we should tell him to eat more and more often, then he'll rebel and stop eating so much.

    February 8, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. Ted

    We are 16 TRILLION in debt and counting. Why is this in the news?
    He's fat, he knows he's fat. He yelled at her, really. If he had berated her for being fat what would be the response? Everyone would yell at him.
    We are 16 trillion in debt people with no hope no plan, the dollars in your wallet will not even make decent butt wipe, they will soon come for "manage" your 401 k, your new medical coverage and tax increases have been designed to reek havoc on our struggling economy and you are worried about this.
    We have relegated our nations fiscal future to the kindness and well intentions of foreigners, it is completely out of our hands we are without any say in our future and now the government in power would have common man relinquish any viable means of resistance, does anyone think this will end well. If so kindly respond with what you are drinking my old brand does not begin to make this look rosy.

    February 8, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. Ted

    Let's worry about the man in the oval office now.
    Anyone had him pee in a cup lately.

    February 8, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. Take Action Christie

    It feels bad to watch the leader being pushed on wheelchair, god forbid it should never happen to Christie, neither to anyone. I can't forget how I felt watching Dick Cheney being pushed on wheelchair during the first Inauguration of Pres. Obama.

    February 8, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. BigRay

    Christie is flirting with switching Democrat ... I hear Axelrod sticking up for him and that clinches it ... he is defecting!

    February 8, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. John

    Mr. Christie, you have no chin. Lose some tonnage!

    February 8, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. John Black Hills SD

    Life's short, if Christie has a passion for the taste of good foods, and he isn't harming anyone, leave it alone. Besides I think he's lost weight in the past year by the photo's that have followed him following the storm system that tore through his state.

    February 8, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. Bob

    Interesting that this woman pjops up on the national scene to criticize someone's weight, then is offended when he isn't happy about it. That, alone, tells you something about her self-important mindset.

    February 8, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. Jim

    @ Romney is Still NOT My Hero

    You mean like not showing your birth certificate for years when th controversy could've been over in days?

    February 8, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. Francis Smith

    "Top Democrats WEIGHS in"

    "WEIGH all the facts"

    The irony.

    February 8, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |

    Taft 2.0 needs to join a gym. Period.

    February 8, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  16. steve

    So what did Axelrod, say? I don't see his comment posted on this article.

    February 8, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. ALittleBird

    Caiha wrote: "Duh, of course a dem wouldn't want him to still be alive in 2016."

    If that were true, they wouldn't be saying they were concerned about him. They would be saying, "Everything's fine, governor, just keep on doing what you're doing."

    February 8, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. abby1

    I agree that they should leave him alone in regards to his weight. He knows that he is overweight and he does not need others to point that out to him. A few years ago, he did lose a lot of weight, but he gained the weight back. I am sure that he is or will be getting to a point where he wants to lose weight again.

    February 8, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. Romney is Still NOT My Hero


    @ Romney is Still NOT My Hero

    You mean like not showing your birth certificate for years when th controversy could've been over in days?


    Jim, please learn the difference between something life-threatening and something that is ridiculous. The birther drama was about being childish. This is about a man putting himself in an early grave. See the difference?

    February 8, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. Virginia

    I do not know one person who has not expressed the "OH if only I could take off a few pounds" Perhaps we should pay more attention to "WHAT DID THAT CONGRESS PERSON SAY"?

    February 8, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. Joe

    You need to love the double standard. It's OK for CNN to keep writing story after story after story about Christie and his weight, yet on the very same page they write a story about a film critic that made fun of Melissa McCarthy's weight and they call that overboard. Now I agree 100% that the idiot fim critic is an @ss and should be fired. I wonder why is there such a double standard?? Oh that's right he is a member of the opposing party where you can pretty much do anything. Make fun of their weight, their looks, their color, their religion, make up all kinds of false statements about them. Then it's ok!

    February 8, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  22. Sooverthis

    I'm a democrat, and I agree with Christie. This lady has made a lot of assumptions without ever examining Gov. Christie. I know a lot of overweight people with zero health issues. Studies show that being overweight puts you at risk for lots of health problems, but automatically assuming the worst about Gov. Christe,and then saying it in piblic is very unprofessional. She doesn't sound like a good doctor. I wonder if she pre-diagnosis all of her overweight patients without an examination and tests. Probably blames all of their problems on being fat. she should have her licenses removed.

    February 8, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. Ambrose Smith

    So he can laugh it up with Letteman and chow down on a doughnut and it's okay. But a doctor states the obvious and he gets all butt hurt! He's an idiot.

    February 8, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. Mike S

    She really isn't that good of a doctor if she really believes someone can diagnose another simply by looking at them.

    February 8, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  25. Mike S

    @Ambrose Smith

    One is a joke, the other is a doctor trying to say she can diagnose someone without ever meeting them. And it isn't "obvious", considering many overweight people live very long lives.

    In fact, a recent study showed overweight people who exercised had lower risk factors of death than people who were skinny and did not work out. So, maybe you should stop using observational rhetoric and read up on actual science.

    February 8, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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