The former White House physician who said she was concerned over New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s (R) health should he become president suggested on Thursday that Christie called and lashed out at her after publicly calling her “a hack.”
“It was essentially the tone of the press conference only louder,” Dr. Connie Mariano told KTVK-TV, referring to Christie’s statement on Wednesday. “It was hard to get anything across.” When the station asked if Christie yelled at her, she nodded affirmatively.
Mariano, who served during both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, drew Christie’s ire after telling CNN earlier this week she was worried about his risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke.
“It’s almost a like a time bomb waiting to happen unless he addresses those issues before running for office,” she said.
That statement led to an angry response from Christie.
“She must be a genius,” he said. “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, 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.’”
Mariano, a self-described conservative who hosts an internet radio show, also said Christie’s supporters have sent her angry emails since making her statements regarding Christie’s appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman, in which he admitted that his own physician was concerned for him.
She told the station on Thursday she stood by her concern for Christie’s health following the Letterman appearance.
“It was sad. It was sad,” she said of the interview. “He was making fun of himself and I feel sorry for him,” Mariano said in a Thursday interview with 3TV. “He’s a nice man. He’s a very talented, smart man and he has a lot to offer and I would feel awful if something happened to him.”
Watch KNTV’s report on the fallout from Mariano’s comments, and her phone call from Christie, aired Thursday, below.
[h/t Talking Points Memo]