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Chris Christie Confronts Doctor Critical of his Weight


DR. MARIANO, a woman who was the White House doctor for the entire Clinton presidency, as well as parts of both Bush presidencies, has been publicly critical of Gov. Chris Christie’s battle with obesity. It has now turned very personal.

From a local Phoenix station:

“I worry that [Gov. Christie] may have a heart attack, he may have a stroke,” Mariano told CNN earlier this week. “It’s almost like a time bomb waiting to happen unless he addresses those issues before running for office.”

Christie did not take the criticism well, firing back at the doctor from a news conference he held in New Jersey.

“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. “Until that time she should shut up.”

Gov. Christie didn’t stop there, however, also saying “I think this is – listen, this is just another hack who wants five minutes on TV.” According to Dr. Connie Mariano, Gov. Christie then called her on the phone and it didn’t go well.

“It was essentially the tone of the press conference only louder,” she said. “It was hard to get anything across.”

“I don’t think he realized who he was talking to,” Mariano told 3TV…

Did Gov. Christie really think Dr. Mariano wouldn’t tell this story to the local press? What in the world was he thinking?

It’s not as if she doesn’t have the expertise to weigh in on this issue.

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16 Responses to Chris Christie Confronts Doctor Critical of his Weight

  1. LiberalJoe February 9, 2013 at 8:13 am #

    Living in NYC in normal human interaction you meet dozens of Chris Christies every day in business, in restaurants, stores you name it.. They come on as affable and they are, intelligent, and they are, but they are bullies. They try to intimidate you. The usual response is to stand up to them and tell them to f%^k off or there will be a problem ( usually in a professional very civilized way) When that happens they’ll back off , but they will try to figure out a way to resume their tactics to not appear so open.
    Which should always be the response to Chris Chrisities bullying-tell him to f^&k off,

    I find it so ironic-there are droves of republicans who want to invade womens bodies to control women, right wing pundits have questioned Dem women emotional stability to hold high office, physical appearance, have all but called Chelsea Clinton and the Obama girls all sorts of names on their looks and “place” in society. the patriotism of Dems now serving in elected office who served in the military you name it they don’t consider anything out of bounds.

    Yet a doctor who has concerns about the health of Chrisite because of his weight should he be President -is now out of bounds? I say f&*k him and the Repubs. Tough crap-turn their tactics on them and one of there presumed front runners for the Pres Nomination. Start taking him out now. The health of the President is generally a pretty important topic-just think President Palin.
    Start questioning his ability to serve a full 4 years.Start now because the Repubs would be doing the same, and will soon start in again, as if they have ever stopped, going at Hillary Clinton. They are waiting in the weeds to start there smear campaign on any Dem candidate.

    So I say start going after Chrisitie now-start planting doubts now, take the offense, see how he handles it-and I’m betting he won’t handle it well.

  2. DaGoat February 9, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    There is no doubt obesity is a risk for heart disease and stroke, but it is only one in addition to blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking, diabetes and family history. Mariano’s comments are therefore correct but would be more accurate and complete if she had access to Christie’s entire health history Mariano should have tempered her comments a little realizing she did not have all the information she needed to go a good evaluation. Possibly she did since we don’t have the whole radio interview.

    Christie’s responses were rude and out of proportion Is it a good strategy for liberals, as LiberalJoe suggests, to goad Christie to provoke these responses? That seems kind of rude, too.

    The whole issue of what crosses the line with respect to politician’s healths is murky. Supporters of Surgeon General Regina Benjamin were upset when she was criticized for her obesity. Benjamin has a strong family history of hypertension and diabetes so is at risk due to multiple factors. And of course Obama either is still smoking, just quit or is trying to quit, something that also increases his risk for heart attack and stroke.

  3. secularhumanizinevoluter February 9, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    Christie is a thug…a very fat thug…but a thug.

  4. secularhumanizinevoluter February 9, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    “Obama either is still smoking, just quit or is trying to quit, something that also increases his risk for heart attack and stroke.”

    Nice try at reviving a much debunked repugnantklan/teabagger lie.

  5. ladywalker68 February 9, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    I agree with LiberalJoe. After listening to the Republican Party spend the last election trying to convince women how wonderful rape is and that we should consider pregnancy from rape a Gift from God, Christie’s obesity is fair game because he at least has a choice of what he puts into his body.

  6. mjsmith February 9, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    An editor for the JAMA was fired for doing the same thing as this doctor is doing.

    Just because President Obama smokes, has to depend on nicorette gum to make it through public appearances, and has a brewery in is place, I don’t think that he is unhealthy. Although I am not a doctor and even if I was, I never examined the President so how the hell would I know. Leave it to CNN to have detailed baseless diagnosis. Imagine a doctor saying, “just send me a couple videos and I’ll have a complete and thorough evaluation.”

    Just as I predicted. The same media that built Christie up is now tearing him down.

    Liberals act like they are so open minded and fair. The reality is the opposite is true. This serves as a perfect example.

    • angels81 February 9, 2013 at 11:28 am #

      Of course the press is going to bring up the good and the bad about any politician who is thinking about running for president. Its not a either or proposition, its the press doing their job.

    • secularhumanizinevoluter February 10, 2013 at 7:09 am #

      So nice to know that reality will never have an impact on your utterances. Do you write for faux not news? If not you should apply, they seem to have a couple of openings.

      • mjsmith February 11, 2013 at 8:50 am #

        I wish I could write good. I had been practicing and I apreciate you noticing.

        secularhumaniz.. – do you go around telling the world not to consider hiring fat people because they are going to die soon? Do you agree with a doctor discussing the health of a person on television who they never even met? Is discrimination against fat people part of the new obamacare?

  7. hopehappens February 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    This woman was acting as a doctor and proceeded to offer a public diagnosis of the health of a man she has never met — and to go so far as to speculate on his death. No one should have to endure that. She is the bully here, not Christie. When he called her out on her behavior, she resorted to ad hominem attacks that “anyone could tell by looking at him” that his health is not good which is not true. If she doesn’t want to be called a hack, then she should not behave like one. Her behavior should be considered a violation of medical ethics. Doctors should not be allowed to wield their medical degrees like clubs in public. Confidentiality and trust are central to the patient-doctor relationship, not to mention basic competence which I assume includes actually examining a patient before rendering a diagnosis. If a doctor had publicly speculated that someone who lost lots of weight under stress might have a disease like AIDS, people would be screaming bloody murder about medical ethics and fairness, but fat shaming is fair game. Christie and most fat people for that matter, are excruitatingly aware of their weight and wage continual battles with it. While I don’t agree with him on much, I do admire his ability to live his life to the fullest and pursue his goals in spite of his battle with weight.

    • mjsmith February 11, 2013 at 8:44 am #

      Very obvious point. Adoctor to go out publicly with a diagnosis, even a quack like her, is aserious offense. think this doctor is a blowhard.

      I also admire Governor Christie.

  8. ladywalker68 February 9, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    I think we are being fair. Women get slammed all the time for being overweight. So a doctor speaks out about the unhealthy aspects of extreme obesity and points out the “elephant” in the room. There is nothing wrong with that. And of course, movie critics are total experts when they “weigh-in” on the topic:

    • secularhumanizinevoluter February 10, 2013 at 7:10 am #

      Maybe Christie is trying to actually become the repugnantKlan/teabagger mascot?

  9. PeggySue February 10, 2013 at 7:53 am #

    Christie’s weight will be an issue if he runs for national office. That’s going to happen whether he likes it or not. The man is not simply overweight, he’s obese, something he’s well aware of. I read he’s now seeing a nutritionist and working with a trainer. His rage reaction is not a very good sign of basic temperament. If he were to squeak through the Republican primary [something I seriously doubt because of his Tea Party disqualifications], he’d be under constant attack, personal and policy-wise. And not simply by Dems.

    Unless, of course, this is a wee bit of stagecraft to show what a tough guy he is and to keep his name in the headlines.

    Is criticism fair? No, not entirely. Fat is the last bastion where rude, crude comments are considered okay. Because we all know fat people don’t have feelings. That being said, a presidential contender’s health is always examined and considered. Expressing doubt about Christie’s health is not off the rails.

    But think about what Hillary Clinton has put up with for more than two decades. Or the comments routinely made about Michelle Obama’s looks, the way she dresses, her organic gardening.

    Sorry, I won’t be shedding tears for the man.

  10. Lake Lady February 10, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

    Dubya was and is very health aware….there were stories about him off riding his bicycle when others were doing the heavy lifting of his administration. WJC now admits that his diet while President was a disaster. I don’t think weight and ability in the big job actually correlate at all. Reagan and Carter both seemed to be within normal weight ranges, did that make them good presidents?

    I would rather see other characteristics of Christie’s get more attention like temperment mentioned above by Liberal Joe. Girth is a shared characteristic with much of the Rethug base attacking it will only bring them to his defense.

  11. guyski February 11, 2013 at 8:26 am #


    If Christie can turn his fat-ness into fat-ism; then use identity politics to form a political coalition, he could be well on his way to becoming president.

    For fat is not just a ‘Rethug’ thing, it goes across the political spectrum, it includes all demographics. There are fat dems, fat indies, fat men, fat women, fat blacks, fat gays, fat hispanics, fat union members, etc. You can even have fat kids, pressuring their parents to vote for Christie. You can have people posting pictures of their fat cat, fat dog with little signs supporting Christie. It can be an unstoppable coalition!

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