Chris Christie’s Weight: Legitimate Issue?

Sep 30, 2011 2:29pm

Chris Christie hasn’t even become a candidate yet and he is already facing viscous attacks on something that has nothing do with policy positions or his record:  His weight.  Columnist Mike Kinsley goes so far as to call Christie’s weight a character flaw that essentially disqualifies him as a candidate.

That’s ridiculous.  But for Christie, attacks on his weight are nothing new.  When he was running for governor, for example, Jon Corzine infamously ran an ad saying Christie “threw his weight around as U.S. attorney.”

One reason why attacks on Christie’s weight have backfired is because he has dealt with the issue directly.  He doesn’t get defensive.  He’s not afraid to candidly talk about his struggle to control his weight.

Exhibit A:  The interview Christie did with Diane Sawyer in April.

Christie told Diane Sawyer he was exercising four times a week in order to slim down. He wouldn’t talk numbers with her – how much he weighed or how much he was trying to lose – “You’re setting yourself up to lose,” he said.

But he did talk candidly about why he wanted to lose weight.

“I just look in the mirror, Diane, and I go, ‘Okay, I’ve got to get healthier,’” Christie said. “This job has really forced me, because it’s such a draining job from an energy perspective… If I want to be good, I’ve got to do this.”

Being president, especially after a long and grueling nationwide campaign, would certainly be just as draining as being New Jersey governor.

Watch Christie talk with Diane Sawyer about his weight.

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