Chris Christie Had Weight Loss Surgery

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has reveled that he had weight loss surgery back in February:

Washington (CNN) – After turning 50 years old, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie secretly underwent lap-band surgery in February for the sake of his wife and kids, a source close to the governor confirmed to CNN.

Christie told the New York Post, which first reported the story, that the invasive procedure came after his family and friends urged him to start improving his health.

“I’ve struggled with this issue for 20 years,” he said. “For me, this is about turning 50 and looking at my children and wanting to be there for them.”

Even though Christie says his surgery was solely for his children and wife, almost anything the Republican governor does is seen through the lens of a possible presidential run in 2016. Christie, in an interview with the Post, attempted to squash any speculation.

“It’s so much more important than that,” Christie said. “I know it sounds crazy to say that running for president is minor, but in the grand scheme of things, it was looking at Mary Pat and the kids and going, ‘I have to do this for them, even if I don’t give a crap about myself.'”

The New York Post has more:

Christie checked in to a surgery center on Feb. 16. A source said he registered under a false name.

The operation included placing a silicone tube around the top of his stomach, where it restricts the amount of food he can eat at one time and makes him feel fuller, faster.

“A week or two ago, I went to a steakhouse and ordered a steak and ate about a third of it and I was full,” he said of his newly tamed appetite. He declined to say how much he lost, but sources said he has already shed nearly 40 pounds.

Christie has struggled with his weight for decades. He sometimes jokes about it, while other times, it’s a sensitive topic. Insiders said it was the only thing keeping the straight-talking executive from higher office.

Despite Christie’s denials, political fund-raisers say that the surgery is a clear sign that he’s going to join the 2016 race — and will do whatever it takes to win.

“This means he’s running for president. He’s showing people he can get his weight in control. It was the one thing holding him back,” a top political donor told The Post.

Sources said Christie didn’t make the decision lightly — he even had private conversations about the operation with once-rotund Jet coach Rex Ryan.

Ryan lost about 100 pounds — down from a massive 350 — after he had the same procedure done in 2010.

Christie has never revealed his weight, but estimates have run from about 300 to 350 pounds.

He hired the same ace laparoscopic and bariatric surgeon as Ryan — Dr. George Fielding, head of NYU Medical Center’s Weight Management Program.

Christie employed cloak-and-dagger tactics to hide the operation. First, he never went into Fielding’s office for medical visits — instead, the doctor came to the governor’s house in Mendham, the sources said.

He managed to keep it under wraps for nearly three months.

Christie said he went under the knife at 7 a.m. for 40 minutes and was home the same afternoon.

As he drops pounds, doctors will pump more saline solution into the lap band, restricting his stomach further and forcing him to eat even less.

Here’s hoping that this helps the Governor deal with his problems and get his health on the right track.

FILED UNDER: Health, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed for too young in July 2021.

Comments

  1. Rob in CT says:

    I hope it works out for him. From what I’ve heard, it often does not work.

  2. PJ says:

    The first 2016 Republican primary debate is only about two years away….

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Here’s hoping that this helps the Governor deal with his problems and get his health on the right track.

    While it is a radical step, when one has tried everything else and none of them worked, one has to get radical. As one who smoked for 36 years and was trying to quit for the last 24 of those years (I finally succeeded 3 yrs ago with the help of Chantix)(the dreams alone were worth the price of admission) I can sympathize with his struggles.

  4. C. Clavin says:

    let’s see…40#…from 500#…damn…he’s down to 460#…HE”S A RAIL!!!

    for all this a-holes bluster you would think he’d be strong enough to drop some tonnage without resorting to this kind of crutch.
    do we really want a guy with zero self-control, and the mental health issues that implies, carrying the nuke codes?

  5. Andre Kenji says:

    @Rob in CT:

    From what I’ve heard, it often does not work.

    It works. The person loses weight. The problem that I heard is that it´s affects, negatively, the person´s humor.

  6. Ben says:

    @C. Clavin:

    You’re being a jerk.

    First of all, he was nowhere close to 500 pounds. Anyone who’s watched The Biggest Loser knows what 500 pounds looks like. Christie was probably right around 350 or so. So he’s probably down to around 3 bills now. Once he’s down in the 250 range, he’ll be overweight but out of danger.

    Second, this is someone improving their life and health, how can you be such a dick about it? Is it just partisan hackery? He’s a Repub, so everything he does is despicable? If so, grow up. I’m a liberal, but I’m not gonna give him crap about this.

    I’ve been overweight my entire life as well, and I know how much this struggle sucks. I was able to lose about 100 pounds on my own with diet, but not everyone can. I don’t judge people about this stuff. However you do it and whatever it takes, as long as someone does SOMEthing about it, that’s a good thing.

  7. Caj says:

    It’s about time. I’m sure his family were really concerned about his health. Of course it will also help his no doubt presidential run come 2016. That may have been an even stronger driving force to have this surgery done! You need all the health and strength you can muster for that gruelling task.

  8. C. Clavin says:

    @ ben…
    sorry…you’re wrong.
    first…this is a guy that is reknowned for bullying others.
    second…being that overweight…especially when you haven’t always been…is an indication of mental health issues. same as alcoholism. and oh yeah – same as bullying. or any other indication of weakness.
    lots of people struggle with their demons and issues.
    but they don’t ask to be leader of the free-world. take you for instance.
    personally, i think we should hold the president to a higher standard.
    call me crazy. or a jerk. oh wait…you already did.

  9. Ben says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Clinton and JFK both had demons and issues that they battled while in office, were they unfit for the presidency? Or is that different somehow? I would think that infidelity says a whole hell of a lot more about someone’s mental issues than being overweight.

  10. john personna says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Basically, you could have been kinder, and a little more coy, and made your point.

    This is the party that believes that Big Gulps are not a health issue, because it is individual choice to drink them or not, right?

    That doesn’t quite square with a medical procedure to rewire that individual choice.

    (Of course we could cynically observe that both Big Gulps and Lap Bands are profit centers, and contribute to overall GDP.)

  11. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Ben:

    I’ve been overweight my entire life as well, and I know how much this struggle sucks. I was able to lose about 100 pounds on my own with diet, but not everyone can. I don’t judge people about this stuff. However you do it and whatever it takes, as long as someone does SOMEthing about it, that’s a good thing.

    Amen, brother.

    Knocking someone who is trying to improve their quality of life for their other shortcomings is pure asshattery.

  12. john personna says:

    @Ben:

    Right, and Nixon!

    (Hmm, maybe this is more complicated after all.)

  13. john personna says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    Just to even my criticism, the Left usually comes down on the side that says Food Stamps should buy soda. Their logic being that rich people can buy soda, and so poor people should too.

    No.

  14. C. Clavin says:

    @ ben…
    infidelity and overeating are the same???
    so you are saying that marilyn monroe is the same as a glazed donut?
    i’ll have to ponder that for a while.

    i wonder if the government health care paid for christies lap banding?
    like cheney’s multiple heart procedures?

  15. Ben says:

    @C. Clavin:

    They’re certainly related. They’re both personal failings of lack of willpower and caving to temptation. And they are both usually symptoms of a larger mental health issue or trauma. Infidelity is worse in my mind, because it also (usually) has a component of lying and betrayal.

  16. C. Clavin says:

    @ ben…
    you don’t think chris chrisie has ever lied about his eating disorder?
    also…infidelity can trigger an eating disorder.
    i’m not sure an eating disorder has ever triggered infidelity.

  17. Ben says:

    @C. Clavin:

    You’re dancing around my point, I don’t even get what your point is. What I am saying is that you’ve tolerated issues and demons that indiciate mental health issues in presidents before, but things seem different because he has an R after his name. Or is it just because you think he’s a bully, so you think it’s cool to bully him back about his weight?

    Either way, I think it’s an ugly thing to do and I wish you would knock it off.

  18. Trumwill Mobile says:

    Clavin, my primary problems with your comment isn’t that you’re mocking Christie, it’s that you’re mocking obesity and the obese by doing so.

  19. An Interested Party says:

    If he’s doing this solely for health reasons, good for him…but he could look like Brad Pitt and that still won’t get him past the Southern Republican base in the 2016 GOP presidential primaries…

  20. stonetools says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I think, C., that you are in a hole and should stop digging. Its one thing to mock a person for a political belief. Its another to mock someone for what’s something like a physical disability or an addiction. Time to beat a graceful retreat.
    That said, the Republican Party and conservatives in general are famous for cutting liberal programs for helping people with what they call “personal responsibility issues”.
    A liberal program aimed at treating drug addicts? Why don’t they just quit “cold turkey?”
    An unwed teenager gets pregnant? We must force her to have that child, and then not give her “welfare” after.
    People don’t need the “nanny state.” They must “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps!”-except, of course, for the US Post Office and Social Security.
    The Republican Party is pretty unsympathetic to any programs to curb obesity. Here is the conservative response to Michelle Obama’s campaign against child obesity:

    Just about everyone will agree that the nation’s children are getting fatter and that obesity is a serious health problem. But the first lady’s push for healthier meals and more exercise, which marked its first anniversary this month, has provoked a backlash from the right, who complain that the only thing here that’s supersized is Big Brother.

    Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh last week suggested Obama is a hypocrite for dining on ribs, and remarked on her waistline in the process. That was just the latest offering in what has been a steady diet of criticisms.

    “Leaders are supposed to be leaders,” Limbaugh said. “If we are supposed to eat roots, berries and tree bark, show us how.”

    Critics have carped about Obama’s spread at her Super Bowl party — and have suggested that the child-nutrition legislation she backed in Congress would bring about the end of school bake sales. Her work with the National Restaurant Assn. to develop healthier menu items has been decried in some circles as a government takeover of business.

    And in January, some conservatives even suggested that Obama was endangering people, blaming an increase in pedestrian deaths on the first lady’s campaign by saying that Americans were putting themselves at risk by walking more.

    Like I said, I don’t agree with CCalvin’s mockery of Christie here. But I understand why he is doing it. Frankly, Republicans on the issue have been a$$holes. I hope that Governor Christie will now come out in support of anti-obesity programs .

  21. Gustopher says:

    Good for him. People often don’t keep the weight off after surgery, but he clearly hit a spot where the weight was affecting his mobility, which would make it much much harder to lose the weight, so he has a decent chance.

    I hope this doesn’t make him more electable, although if we must have a Republican president, we could do a lot worse, and he would at least be entertaining.

  22. C. Clavin says:

    Look everyone…having your pipes tied off means you have admitted defeat.
    You are saying you are unable to control yourself and you’ve given up even trying.
    Now…I understand many people have these same issues. (by the way…I’m one of them)
    But is that the sort of person we want running this country?
    And no, infidelity is very different. There are at least 3 people involved in any act of infidelity. No twinkie ever actively tried to seduce me.
    And if I lived in New Jersey I would damn well want to know if I paid for his elective surgery.

  23. C. Clavin says:

    Well there was one twinkie once…but that’s different.

  24. Trumwill Mobile says:

    I was no worse a glutton or a sloth or morally weak or whatever it is you want Christie’s weight to say about him when I weighed 285 than I was when I weighed 210. This line of attack says more about the attacker than the target.

  25. C. Clavin says:

    By the way…I had very similar concerns about Bush43…who was a dry-drunk.
    Look how well that turned out.

  26. Sejanus says:

    @C. Clavin: While my view of Ariel Sharon’s political legacy is mostly negative (though I approved of his disengagement plan from Gaza and I appreciate his eventual recognition that we Israelis must GTFO out of the Palestinian territories) I don’t think there were any doubts regarding his competence to serve as prime minister (and before that as the head of several government ministries) even though he was just as obese as Christie, if not more.

  27. Sejanus says:

    PS Obama did drugs. I’m wondering if you have any problems with him being president?

  28. C. Clavin says:

    @ Sejanus…
    Ariel Sharon had Lap-Band Surgery?
    The things you learn on OTB!!!

  29. I heard he was considering liposuction, but they couldn’t line up a disposal barge

  30. Trumwill says:

    Haha. That’s funny because he’s fat. And fat people are losers.

    Haha.

  31. Sejanus says:

    @C. Clavin: No… But according to you Christie’s obesity is by itself an indication of poor mental health, regardless of the surgery he underwent. I’m quoting you directly here:

    being that overweight…especially when you haven’t always been…is an indication of mental health issues

    And just in case you’re wondering, this is how Ariel Sharon looked like in 1948, so he wasn’t always obese.

  32. @Sejanus:

    Exactly- sign of weakness, much like Obama’s smoking

  33. Andre Kenji says:

    @C. Clavin:

    And if I lived in New Jersey I would damn well want to know if I paid for his elective surgery.

    No, you would not, because there is no such thing as universal health care coverage in New Jersey. But I can say that many countries that have this “socialistic” thing of this kind of surgery is available in the public health care system. Here in Brazil the Public Health Care System do this kind of surgery, even if you wait for ten years in the waiting list(To be fair, the Ministry of Healthcare says that this kind of surgery should be the last “resource”).

  34. grumpy realist says:

    @C. Clavin: I take it you have the same attitude about people who have had vasectomies or tubal ligitation, hmmm? “Can’t Control themselves”

    Speaking as someone who has discovered how difficult it is to even maintain one’s earlier weight after going through menopause:

    You. Are. An. Ass.