‘Hack’ Doctor Received Angry Phone Call From Christie

The former White House doctor who drew the ire of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Thursday that he made an angry phone call to her after describing her as an attention-seeking “hack.”

Dr. Connie Mariano, who publicly expressed concern about Christie’s presidential prospects given his obesity and overall health, said that he reached her by phone after a Wednesday press conference at which the outspoken governor called her a “hack who wants five minutes on TV” and questioned how she could make judgments about his health before even meeting him. During an interview with CNN earlier this week, Mariano said she feared Christie could suffer a heart attack or stroke should he make it to the White House. The tenor of the subsequent phone conversation, Mariano said, was largely the same as the press conference.

“It was essentially the tone of the press conference only louder,” Mariano told 3TV in Phoenix on Thursday. “It was hard to get anything across. I don’t think he realized who he was talking to. I think I’m qualified to make a comment.”

Mariano also said she found it disappointing that Christie joked extensively about his weight during an appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman” on Monday.

“It was sad.  It was sad.  He was making fun of himself and I feel sorry for him,” Mariano said.  “He’s a nice man.  He’s a very talented, smart man and he has a lot to offer and I would feel awful if something happened to him.”

A Republican, Mariano said she was previously a Christie fan. Now, however, she said he’s probably lost her support down the road.

“The way he acted lately I don’t think so.  He wasn’t very nice to me,” Mariano said. “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.”

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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