A former White House doctor who publicly suggested Chris Christie needs to lose weight says that the New Jersey governor phoned her to yell about the comments.
Dr. Connie Mariano, a Scottsdale, Ariz., physician who worked for nine years in the White House medical unit, tells KTVK-TV in Phoenix that Christie angrily called after she gave an interview to CNN suggesting he’s at risk of having a heart attack or a stroke if he doesn’t lose weight.
While on CNN, Mariano described herself as a Christie supporter who wants him to run for president and warned the governor’s health could hurt his potential 2016 race. Her comments came after Christie appeared on the “Late Show With David Letterman” and poked fun at jokes about his weight by eating a doughnut during the interview.
"It's almost like a time bomb waiting to happen unless he addresses those issues before running for office," said Mariano, who attended to former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush during her time at the White House.
Asked about Mariano’s comments at a press conference on Wednesday, Christie lashed out, calling her “just another hack who wants five minutes on TV.”
"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.”
Mariano says that after the press conference, Christie called and yelled at her.
“It was essentially the tone of the press conference only louder,” Mariano told KTVK. "It was hard to get anything across.”
A Christie spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the governor phoned Mariano and, if so, what the tone of that conversation was.
Mariano says she’s now rethinking whether she would support a Christie candidacy for the White House.
“The way he's acted lately I don't think so. He wasn't very nice to me,” Mariano told KTVK. “Is this presidential? I'll have to think about that. Is this a presidential way to behave? C'mon.”