Christie's Delivers Straight Talk On Stomach Surgery

Christie's Delivers Straight Talk On Stomach Surgery

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NEWARK, N.J. -

Gov. Chris Christie took questions Tuesday afternoon on the revelation that he had lap-band stomach surgery, having a lively back-and-forth with reporters and calling news coverage of his health "ridiculous and silly."

The New York Post exclusively reported Tuesday morning on the secret stomach surgery, for which Christie had a consult in September. He underwent the procedure in February.

His weight has been the butt of many jokes. But it's also been cause for a lot of concern.

Now, Christie says he's taken control of his health.

The New Jersey governor reasserted Tuesday that it was a decision he made for his family and not with any political or career ambition in mind.

"It's not a career issue for me. It is a long-term health issue for me," he said. "And that's the basis upon which I made the decision. It's not about anything other than that."

Christie, who turned 50, said you get "confronted with your own mortality as you start to age. And so, from my perspective, this is about Mary Pat and the kids and me. It's really not about anybody else, and it shouldn't be about anybody else."

"Everybody's going to have opinions, as is obvious from this scrum of people here today," he said. "But I don't – with all due respect to everybody here, your opinions on this issue really don't matter a whole hell of a lot to me."

Asked about his thoughts on the interest in his health, Christie said, "I think that there are so many more important issues that we're dealing with in this state that for this kind of attention to be drawn to the fact that I'm, you know, pursuing a weightless measure is, I think, shows just how really shallow a lot of this coverage has become and why a lot of people ignore it."

That comment drew applause from a crowd gathered for the groundbreaking of a school at Essex County Newark Tech.

The governor declined to say how much he has lost, or what his weight-loss goal is. And he bristled at an inquiry about whether he transferred power to the lieutenant governor, calling it a "ridiculous question." He said he was asleep for 40 minutes and compared it to calling to get permission to take an afternoon nap.

After going in at 7 a.m. on a Saturday and coming home by 5 p.m., he took the next two days of his planned three-day weekend off, saying he was sore.

Christie went on to list the schedule of public events he resumed by that Tuesday.

He also said you won't find him running around doing commercials or writing books later about how much he's lost.

"And, no -- I want to make this real clear: I do not see myself, nor do I care to be a role model in this regard for anyone," Christie said. "This is an intensely personal issue for people, and only people who have gone through being overweight can understands how that can dominate your thought every day can understand how intensely personal that is."

Christie took one reporter to task for, in his words, implying he didn't want to tell anyone because he was somehow embarrassed or thought it was a problem.

"That's not the issue at all. It was not your business. It's nobody's business other than mine, in my opinion," the governor said. "Now, once somebody asks me directly and I'm in a public position, I'm not going to lie about it."

"But, no, I never thought about strategically how I would put this out there. What I was planning was strategically how I wouldn't put it out there. And I did pretty good for 12 weeks, you know? So, it's not bad – it's probably 12 weeks better than most people thought I would have had."

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