HACKENSACK, N.J. – A chatty but visibly tired New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie walked out of a hospital Thursday night and promised to return to work Saturday after a morning asthma attack raised questions about his health - and his weight.
"The lighter I am, the healthier I’ll be," Christie said, facing a barrage of media questions about his excess weight after he spent eight hours in the emergency room. "I weigh too much because I eat too much. And I eat some bad things."
Standing outside the hospital in front of two SUVs, engines running, waiting to take him home, Christie frankly addressed his weight as a serious health issue. It plagued him on the campaign trail in 2009, and some question whether it will affect his future on the national political stage.
Christie described his weight as "one of the major struggles of my life," and said Thursday’s incident was not the first time he was reminded to change his lifestyle.
"This doesn’t give me a sense of urgency," Christie said of the breathing problems that forced him to cancel a public event and have his state police drivers take him to the Somerset Medical Center in Somerville. Controlling his weight and his health were already urgent in his mind, Christie said.
"I think the weight exacerbates everything, and I’ve been pretty candid about that right from the start of my public career," he said.