Christie "fine and in charge" from hospital

Updated 1:30 p.m. ET

SOMERVILLE, N.J. -- Blunt-talking Gov. Chris Christie, who some Republicans have been trying to persuade to run for president, was taken to a hospital Thursday after he had difficulty breathing.

The 48-year-old governor was driven to Somerset Medical Center by his state police security detail out of an "abundance of caution," said Christie spokesman, Michael Drewniak. Christie suffers from asthma and all indications are the governor will be OK, Drewniak said.

Maria Comella, Christie's deputy chief of staff, told The Associated Press that Christie is "fine and in charge." Close friend and adviser Bill Palatucci said Christie was "getting tests and working from the hospital."

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno was in her office at the Statehouse. Christie canceled his monthly "Ask the Governor" radio show, which was scheduled for Thursday night.

Christie, a former federal prosecutor who took office 18 months ago, has drawn praise from fiscal conservatives and complaints from unions for efforts to trim benefits for public employees as part of steep budget cuts. His national profile also has risen, in part, for his frank and sometimes confrontational exchanges with the media.

The governor attended an education conference and a congressional fundraiser in Iowa on Monday, where he again told reporters he was not running for president. He has said that his four school-age children and further goals in his first term rule out a White House bid, but Republicans continue to court him.

The governor has long struggled with his weight, which he said he started putting on after high school when he stopped playing organized sports.

He's tried dozens of diets over the years with varying success and has shed some pounds in recent months.

His weight came up during his 2009 campaign against Democrat incumbent Jon Corzine, who ran an ad accusing Christie of "throwing his weight around" to get out of traffic citations while he was U.S. attorney. Christie confronted the ads head on, telling Corzine to "man up and say I'm fat."

Christie was named the state's top federal law enforcement officer after playing an important role in President George W. Bush's 2000 campaign in the state.

He soon gained national exposure by overseeing two major terrorism convictions and the convictions of dozens of public officials on corruption charges.

In 2007, Corzine was seriously injured in a car accident on the Garden State Parkway. Corzine's femur bone was broken in two places and he sustained a broken sternum, six broken ribs on each side, a head laceration and a minor fracture on a lower vertebrae.

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