The Last Word | February 05, 2013
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>> in the spotlight tonight, the politics of late night new jersey governor chris christie appeared on the late night show with david letterman .
>> i have made jokes about you, not just one or two, not just ongoing, here or there, inter intermittent.
>> i do have a couple that you did that are personal favorites. celebrity birthday today, chris christie blew out the candles on his cake, and he wished for another cake. a billion will be spent on potato chips for super bowl , and that is just at chris christie 's house.
>> dave got a little more specific.
>> how is your cholesterol?
>> actually, dave , my cholesterol is normal, believe it or not. that is pretty good.
>> and what about your blood sugar ?
>> also normal, i am basically the healthiest fat guy you have ever seen in your life.
>> governor chris christie had some criticisms, but not for letterman, but no congress, here is what he said about the delay in getting relief money for hurricane sandy victims.
>> when i tried to get an explanation they wouldn't answer the phone, and that is not a good thing to do. then i start to get more and more angry, then you know -- just you know, answer the phone. unfortunately it is a different atmosphere there now, people are not working with each other the way they should, they're not talking to each other the way they should.
>> is it john boehner , was that who it was?
>> listen, he ultimately made the decision to not have the vote on january 2nd , as had been promised. i told him, it was his decision. i made my thoughts known clearly to him. and i was actually less gentle privately than i was publicly.
>> good for you.
>> in new jersey, governor chris christie now enjoys a 74% approval rating his highest job approval ever. joining me now, johnathan capehart, and msnbc analyst, sam stein, johnathan capeheart, as we all know, as any political scientist now knows, the road through the white house now passes through david letterman 's show. john mccain refused to go on letterman. lost the presidency. mitt romney refused to go on letterman, lost the presidency. there is chris christie going on letterman, next stop? where?
>> well, next stop he will run for re-election as governor. but you know, the good thing about what chris christie is doing is one, we're all talking about him. have you been watching the clip of him eating the donut, since 6:00 this morning -- i laugh every time. the other thing it does is it shows that he has a sense of humor, that he is listening to all of these jokes. he knows what people are saying about him and his weight. and he is willing to laugh at himself. not that he needed to humanize himself, not just to the audience as the guy that screams during the middle of the presidential campaign , or in other situations.
>> let's listen to another situation with dave talking about his political future.
>> if you were reelected and then had to run for a campaign in 2016 , would you do that to the people of new jersey? would they let you do that?
>> listen, i mean, i think people understand that if you see something you think you can do and do it well, people give you a fair opportunity to do it. i'm nowhere near making that decision yet at all. i think anybody who tries to plan in politics that far in advance is crazy.
>> so sam stein, i take that as a yes, i'm running for president in 2016 ?
>> yes, it is crazy not to plan that far in advance in politics. you know now that he has been on letterman, you may as well throw out the projections, because he is a shoe-in, else to it.
>> he did a press conference again today in which the weight issue came up again, let's listen to it.
>> the idea that somehow, you know, i don't care about this, of course i care about it. and i'm making the best effort i can. and sometimes i'm successful. and other times i'm not. and sometimes periods of great success are followed by periods of great failure. and so you know, that is just the way it worked for me for probably the last 30 years of my life, my doctor says my luck will run out relatively soon, so believe me, it is something i'm very conscious of. but in terms of people in the state being concerned about whether or not it prevents me from being able to do my job effectively, i think they have seen the results of that.
>> johnathan capehart, speaking of somebody who had as chris christie put it, a period of great failure, with my diet this weekend i can completely understand. not on the scale of chris christie , but i can completely understand the way he is talking about that. and i think everyone out there can.
>> well, right, again, he is talking not like a politician, but like an everyday person who struggles with his or her weight. the ups and the downs. you know, i never had to struggle with it before, but now since crossing the tender barrier of now being in my 40s, i now see holy smokes , i can't eat and i have to exercise and i have to do all of these things. it is just hard. so i think you know, give chris christie you know great points for just being willing to entertain -- not just entertain the questions but to answer them truthfully and honestly.
>> john, first of all, you don't look a day over 39, secondly to add to the point, i do think there is something legitimate about it. to humanize a politician is very rare, oftentimes they present an image they want you to see. but with chris christie , obviously his weight is an issue, a personal feeling that he acknowledges, something he struggles with. something akin to how president obama admitted to struggling with smoking. it is a problem he has to deal with continuously. i guess up until a few years ago. but it made us understand that these are not projections, these are people. i think from a political standpoint that is a valuable thing to do.
>> but johnathan , there is a huge difference between smoking and this issue. we never saw the president smoke. it is something you can do kind of secretly if you must. and apparently he didn't do it all that much anyway. and chris christie 's problem is quite visible. we all recognize it. and, you don't have to actually see him do the joke of eating the donut to get what this problem is.
>> right, and you know there was something in that clip that you showed that struck -- that stood out for me, it was when he said his doctor warned him that his luck is going to run out relatively soon.
>> that is dramatic language.
>> yeah, and so i'm thinking well wait a minute, when is relatively soon? is that at the end of your first term. so the people of new jersey give you a second term how soon is relatively soon? so clearly, this is -- he might be the healthiest fat man we've ever seen, but i wonder where on the scale of healthy is he really? is he here? if this is healthy? or is he here?
>> well, i guess, sam my interpretation of that line is chris christie plans to do something significant and noticeable about his weight if he is going to run for president. it sounds to me like that line about his doctor indicates he knows he has to take some kind of step physically with this in order to run for president.
>> yeah, and remember when his name was being floated as a potential candidate in 2012 , there were a slew of stories as to whether or not his weight would pose a political problem for his ambitions. i think these stories, the questions are completely fair game . you're elected in office, accountable to the people. we wrote a story about sonia sotomayor having diabetes, these are fair questions. obviously, john mccain had his own health issues when he was running. and the issues were raised for john mccain , and will be if joe biden runs. we'll see if he ends up losing weight in anticipation of a run, or maybe it will just be a life-style change he will encounter in the next coming months.
>> analyst sam stein and analyst, not saying when is senior and which is junior, you guys decide that.
>> oh, we know that.
>> thank you, guys.
>>> next in the rewrite, the new standards at "fox news" tonight's firing of dick morris seems to indicate that it is no longer cool for fox news pundits to just be wrong about everything.
>>> and malala yousufzai speaks, she has made her first speaking videos since she was shot by the taliban. and she has been nominated for a nobel prize . all of that