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December 12, 2012

In this Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 photograph, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie answers a question during a news conference in Trenton, N.J. The Republican governor was asked about his weight problem during an interview with Barbara Walters for her “10 Most Fascinating People” special Wednesday night on ABC. Walters told the governor some people say he is too heavy to be president one day. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Gov. Christie: My weight isn't a bar to the presidency

The Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he is "more than a little" overweight — but fit enough to be in the White House.

The Republican governor was asked about his weight problem during an interview with Barbara Walters for her "10 Most Fascinating People" special Wednesday night on ABC.

Walters told the governor some people say he is too heavy to be president one day.

"That's ridiculous," Christie responded. "I don't know what the basis for that is."

Walters said worries about his health were the reason for the concern. The governor then pointed to his widely praised handling of Superstorm Sandy, which has sent his popularity soaring.

"I've done this job pretty well, and I think people watched me for the last number of weeks and Hurricane Sandy doing 18-hour days and getting right back up the next day and still being just as effective in the job," he said. "So I don't really think that would be a problem."

If Christie is thinking about making a bid for the White House in 2016, he isn't saying.

"I don't know what I'll feel like in 2016," he said. "First things first, that was another thing my mother taught me. First things first. First things first is to finish the job I have here."

Christie had considered a run for president in 2012. Last month, he announced that he would seek re-election as governor, saying he wanted to lead the state through its post-storm rebuilding and that the one year left in his first term wouldn't be enough to finish the job.

The governor has battled a weight problem for many years and often jokes about his struggles. At a news briefing last month, when asked about Twinkies maker Hostess shutting down, he went on a riff about not taking the bait. "This is a setup!" he jokingly exclaimed.

When Walters started the discussion by telling Christie he is a "little overweight," he responded: "More than a little."

Asked why, he answered: "If I could figure that out, I'd fix it."

The governor was also asked about his weight during an interview with Oprah Winfrey in January, and how he deals with people joking about him being fat. He said he had developed "a shell about it."

He has said he hired a personal trainer about a year ago.





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