Ex-White House doctor called out by Chris Christie responds
(CBS News) A former White House doctor recently expressed fears that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie could have a heart attack or stroke in office if he doesn't lose weight.
Though Christie played comic foil to late show host David Letterman's straight man Monday night, by Wednesday, he was fed up with the weight debate.
Christie said, "She should probably be the surgeon general of the United States, I suspect because she must be a genius. This is just another hack who wants five minutes on TV."
Christie took offense to the cross-country medical diagnosis of Dr. Connie Mariano, a former Navy Rear Adm., who served as Bill Clinton's White House physician.
Mariano said on CNN, "I'm a Republican so I like Chris Christie a lot. I just want him to lose weight. I'm a physician more than a Democrat or a Republican, I worry about this man dying in office."
Christie said, "My children saw that last night. And she sat there and said on TV, 'I'm afraid he's gonna die in office.' My 12-year-old son came to me and said, 'Dad, are you gonna die?' 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'll have a conversation with her about that. Until that time, she should shut up."
Mariano spoke to Anderson Cooper Wednesday night. Asked about a call she received from Christie, and what was said, Mariano said, "Out of deference to him, I'm not going to comment on that, but I can only share with you that that phone conversation, when I think of it, the words 'gracious' and 'appreciative' do not come to mind."
Christie says that he cares about his health and always has a plan to trim down. He said on Tuesday, "In terms of people in the state being concerned about whether or not it prevents me from being able to do my job effectively, I think they've seen the results of that."
For Elaine Quijano's full report, watch the video above.
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