After years of keeping mum about his weight issues, Chris Christie, New Jersey's Republican gubernatorial candidate, can't stop making jokes about his girth -- and he also wants his opponent, Gov. Jon Corzine, to "man up and say I'm fat."
Christie declared that he will be “a big fat winner” on Election Day in an interview on Don Imus’s New York-based radio show today. During the show, the former U.S. Attorney repeatedly mentioned his weight.
“I’m pretty fat Don,” Christie declared.
The Republican nominee also had some pointed comments for his Democratic opponent. Gov. Corzine caught flak during the campaign for what some pundits felt was a low-blow -- a television commercial showing Christie emerging from an SUV, in extreme slow motion, his extra weight clearly displayed. The ad accused him of "throwing his weight around" to get out of tickets.
For his part, Corzine has been none-to-subtle promoting his fit, active image. He's been running in road races around the Garden State.
The New Jersey campaign has been contentious all around, but the foray into Christie's weight issues has earned some sympathy for the outspoken politician. The New York Times noted last month that Christie had rarely spoken of his weight in the past, calling it a "private matter," and hinting at the pain felt by many who try and fail to keep weight off.
But since Corzine's attack ad came out, Christie has spoken more and more bluntly about his struggles with his weight, and he told Imus today that he thought the ad was "beneath the office."
“If you’re going to do it, at least man up and say I’m fat,” he said. “Afterwards he wusses out and says ‘no, no, no. I didn’t mean that I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ Man up. If you say I’m fat, I’m fat. Let’s go. Let’s talk about it," he said.
Imus later joked that even though many of New Jersey voters are overweight, Christie should be setting a healthier example. (In fact, New Jersey is one of the leanest states in the nation.)
“I am setting an example Don,” Christie said. “We have to spur our economy. Dunkin Donuts, International House of Pancakes, those people need to work too.”