New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie should lose weight now if he wants to be ready for a 2016 presidential run, a top doctor to the presidents says.
“There are ways to do it … And if he can overcome this disease, he deserves the White House," Dr. Connie Mariano told the Newark Star-Ledger.
Later, Mariano said in an interview with CNN: “I’m worried about this man dying in office.”
Mariano — who served George H.W. and George W. Bush and was Bill Clinton’s personal White House physician — says the plus-sized politician “probably has incredible stamina. And that’s great, but you wonder what his blood pressure must be like, whether he has sleep apnea at night."
Christie responded by calling the doctor a “hack” who should “shut up” unless she examines him.
Earlier this week, Christie told reporters he was “making the best effort I can’’ to shed pounds.
“Sometimes I’m successful and sometimes I’m not. And sometimes periods of great success are followed by periods of great failure. That’s just the way it’s worked for me for probably the last 30 years of my life,’’ he said.
Just why Christie — a strapping athlete in his youth — has packed on so much weight has never been revealed, but Mariano said, "I will bet he has some kind of issue.’’
She added that if he does successfully reduce, Christie would be an inspiration to obese people trying to get their own physiques under control.
"If he can get the obese vote, he’s got it," Mariano told the newspaper. "He can feel compassion, but he can also be a great example for people to conquer this.’’
Christie has admitted that while he feels great now, “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.’’
His most serious health issue relating to his weight occurred in 2011 when summer heat triggered a severe asthma attack.
Christie is about 5-foot-11, but he has not disclosed his weight. He once joked to radio personality Don Imus that he weighed “550 pounds.”
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