Hardball | February 07, 2013
>>> we're back. new jersey governor chris christie canted seem to stop talking about his weight and maybe he wants it that way. first, christie poked fun at his weight this week with david letterman .
>> basically the healthiest fat guy you have ever seen in your life.
>> president clinton 's former white house doctor connie mar ian o didn't find his joke funny. she told cnn she's worried christie could die in office because he's so overweight.
>> i worry that he may have a heart attack, he may have a stroke. it's almost like a time bomb waiting to happen.
>> the doctor's comment didn't sit well with the tough talking new jersey governor. he pounded her for it.
>> i find it fascinating that a doctor in arizona who has never met me, never examined me, never reviewed my medical history or records, knows nothing about my family history could make a diagnosis from 2400 miles away . she must be a genius. it's completely irresponsible, completely irresponsible. my children saw that last night, and she sat there on tv and said i'm afraid he's going to die in office. my 12-year-old son comes to me last night and says, dad, are you going to die? she should shut up.
>> so why is governor christie talking about his weight now? a christie trying to own his weight issue because he thinks it might be a huge obstacle if he decides to run in 20916. with me steve kornacki focusing this atten tion?
>> how is she doing him a favor? do you think the man doesn't know he's fat? he knows he's fat. he has a mirror. i'm sure he has a scale. again, i don't think this has anything to do with health. i think this has to do with the idea that people think that people overweight are lazy. and anyone that's seen the governor know that's not the case. i don't know why people think it's okay about making comments about people this size.
>> totally inappropriate for her to reference the possibility of him dying in office. who among us, i know i certainly have, have thought i hope he's well. that's a lot of weight to carry on that frame.
>> it's obvious to anybody who looks at him. it's one of the first things anybody is going to notice. it's going to be on everyone's mind. the risk for this doctor, his political opponents, the risk of drawing attention to it is it's just always going to backfire on you. when he jokes about it himself, he's coming across as self dep ri kating. when anybody else draws attention to it, it always looks like a coy or a sneaky way, a too-cute way of trying to score a cheap shot against him. remember the democrats, when he ran for governor in 2009 , they talked about how he was throwing his weight around. i remember talking privately and there was a lot of snickering. and i think that stuff backfired on them three years ago.
>> susan, i would attest to what steve said. she talked about moving around a desk and a chair to ak sen chew wait that issue. i think it's an attribute, at least it has been in new jersey, it establishes the bona fides as every man. he's not the blow dried politician.
>> public humiliation can certainly be a motivating factor. what gets me to the gym every day is i live in fear of being an anonymous butt. you say hey, i have an out fit like that and you realize it's you kind of waddling down the street. maybe that will have an effect and he can sort of think about this and think about how it comes across. but at the same time, we all have that sense of self consciousness and just the idea that you're in public life and people can be making these really rude and very hurtf fuful comments about his weight. this is a human being we're talking about here.
>> steve , anything to the timing of this? is there anything that says he wants this pubically litigated now?
>> yeah, i don't know if it's that as much as if you say hey, you go on letterman, you're going to joke around and then the doctor comes out and does her thing. i think it's more sort of a preview for him of what he's in store for. i know he went through this in new jersey in 2009 . but, obviously, that's a smaller scale in terms of the media scrutiny. maybe it's a preview for him in terms of what he'd be in for. so maybe it's for him to sort of sit there and say do i want to go through this? do i want this -- do i want doctors going on tv and talking about my weight? i don't think this will be the first one if he runs for president.
>> i agree with both of you. i agree with susan, in particular, that there's blowback to those who try to use this as some kind offen issue.
>>> when we return, allow me to finish with the case four drones. it all comes down to keeping americans safe. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. push bush copd