TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie spoke with the former White House doctor who spoke on national TV about the governor’s weight, but that’s all he’s willing to discuss.
“I had a private conversation with Dr. Mariano and I intend to keep it private,” Christie said before promptly moving on to another question.
The comment came after Christie was asked during a Friday news conference about a report from a Phoenix TV station claiming New Jersey’s governor yelled at the former White House doctor over the phone.
“It was essentially the tone of the press conference, only louder,” Connie Mariano, a doctor for George W. Bush and Bill Clinton during their White House tenures, told KTVK. “It was hard to get anything across.”
Mariano told CNN earlier this week that she feared for the governor’s health if he were ever elected president.
The former White House doctor said she feared Christie “may have a stroke.”
The comments spurred immediate backlash from the governor during a Wednesday news conference. Christie called Mariano a “hack” in search of five minutes of fame and said the doctor should “shut up.”
“I don’t think he realized who he was talking to,” Mariano told KTVK. “I think I’m qualified to make a comment.”
The Republican physician said she no longer thinks she could back Christie if he decides to run in 2016.
“The way he acted lately I don’t think so,” she said. “He wasn’t very nice to me. Politically if this is the way [he handles] stress. … Is this presidential? I’ll have to think about that. Is this a presidential way to behave? C’mon.”
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"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi- The Daily Beast
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