The governor of the US state of New Jersey, leading Republican politician Chris Christie, says it’s “ridiculous” to think that his being fat would make him a poor president.
Christie is increasingly talked about as a possible candidate to replace President Barack Obama, a Democrat whose final term expires in 2016.
In an interview with ABC television late Wednesday, Christie did not say he would run, but continued to stir expectations.
The former prosecutor rose to national prominence during last month’s Hurricane Sandy, which struck New Jersey hard.
Christie, in his trademark blue fleece, was a constant presence on television and caused upset in his own party’s ranks when he effusively praised Obama’s handling of the disaster response just before his reelection.
Christie’s weight and possible related health issues, however, would likely be an immediate issue if he sought the White House in four years.
ABC’s Barbara Walters asked if this meant he couldn’t be president.
Christie replied: “That’s ridiculous. I mean, that’s ridiculous. People watched me for the last number of weeks in Hurricane Sandy doing 18-hour days, so I don’t really think that would be a problem.”
He said he had tried to slim down. “If I could figure that out I would fix it,” he told Walters. “I’ve had more diets and lost and gained back more weight in my life than I could count.”