Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie still can't escape questions about his weight, but he says he's feeling a lot better than he did a year ago. The presidential hopeful said Friday that his weight loss was initially for his kids but that he's certainly feeling the benefits of a slimmer waist.
"It’s been really good for me. I feel really good but more than anything else, a piece of mind for me and for my family that my health is right where it needs to be," Christie said on Fox News Radio's Kilmeade & Friends. Asked if he intended to lose more weight, the candidate said, "not that much more -- a little bit, but I’m not in any rush to do it. The large bulk of the weight has come off, and I’ve seen that reflected in my tests with my doctors and everything else."
It wasn't the first time that Christie has fielded questions about his weight and his very noticeable weight loss in the last couple of years. The Republican governor underwent lap-band surgery -- in which a gastric band is placed around the stomach to limit its size -- in early 2013, at a time when national opinion polls had him on the rise. Christie waltzed into a second term as governor later that year.
Even while his popularity rose, comedians jumped on the opportunity to make fun of his weight. Christie, though, seemed to take it in stride and even joked about it on national television. Just before his 2013 surgery, the New Jersey governor visited the "Late Show," which inspired David Letterman to count up the number of jokes that he had made at Christie's expense; "I didn’t know this was going to be so long," he quipped as settled in for the long haul, pulling out a donut to raucous laughter.
Christie may have decided to lose weight for his family, but many speculated that it was in preparation for a presidential run. Pollsters and political observers have said that presidents tend not to be overweight. If Christie wanted to win the White House in 2016, he'd have to find a way to cut back on the pounds.
So far, though, it appears that voters may have more on their minds than how much weight Christie has lost. In the Real Clear Politics average of national polls, Christie finds himself in ninth place, trailing far behind GOP front-runner Donald Trump. That's a difference of more than 20 percent between himself and the Donald, who has 23.2 points to Christie's 2.6 points. He does a little better in New Hampshire, ranking eighth, with 4.7 percent.