New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday lashed out at a former White House physician, calling her a “hack” who “should shut up” after she publicly worried about his health.
During a Tuesday interview with CNN, Dr. Connie Mariano, who served as a physician to former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, said that Christie’s weight was no laughing matter after he made fun of himself by eating a donut on David Letterman’s show.
“I’m worried he may have a heart attack, I’m worried he may have a stroke,” Mariano explained. “It’s almost a like a time bomb waiting to happen unless he addresses those issues before running for office.”
“I’m a Republican. I like Chris Christie. I want him to run. I just want him to lose weight,” she added. “I’m a physician more than I’m a Democrat or Republican. And I’m worried about this man dying in office.”
But Christie seemed to have lost his sense of humor when asked about the doctor’s comments on Wednesday.
“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 2,400 miles away,” the governor said. “She must be a genius. She should probably be the Surgeon General of the United States, I suspect, because she she must be a genius.”
“This is just another hack who wants five minutes on TV,” he continued. “And 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 came up to me last night and said, ‘Dad, are you going to die?’ I mean, come on. This is irresponsible stuff. And people who have a medical license, who have the privilege of having a medical licence should, in my view, conduct themselves more responsibly than that.”
Christie suggested that Mariano should “get on a plane and come here to New Jersey” so he could have a conversation with her.
“Until that time, she should shut up,” he insisted.
Watch this video from The Star-Ledger, broadcast Jan. 6, 2013.