Doctor: I got angry call from Christie about weight comments

February 8, 2013

An Arizona doctor who earned a public rebuke from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) for suggesting his weight could lead to a heart attack or stroke says she also received an angry phone call from the governor.

She said she is now re-thinking her previous political support for him.

“The way he acted lately I don't think so. He wasn't very nice to me,” the doctor, Connie Mariano, told a local news station. “Politically, if this is the way [he handles] stress… is this presidential? I'll have to think about that. Is this a presidential way to behave? C'mon.”

During an appearance on the "The Late Show with David Letterman" earlier this week, Christie poked fun at his weight by producing a doughnut and taking a bite as the conversation turned to his weight.

"I didn’t know this was going to be this long,” Christie said.

Mariano, who served as a physician in the Clinton White House, said the stunt was "sad" and suggested that Christie was in danger and that his health could compromise his presidential ambitions.

"I'm worried about this man dying in office," she said on CNN. "It's almost like a time bomb waiting to happen unless he addresses those issues before running for office."

In response to the comment, Christie told Mariano to "shut up" and questioned how she could diagnose him from such a distance.

“If she wants to get on a plane and come here to New Jersey and ask me if she wants to examine me and review my medical history, I will have a conversation with her about that,” Christie said. “Until that time she should shut up.”

Christie also called Mariano a "hack" in search of publicity.

Mariano said the governor then called her and reamed her out on the phone.

“It was essentially the tone of the press conference, only louder,” she told the local reporter. "It was hard to get anything across.”

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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