Governor Christie Talks Politics, Weight, With Oprah [AUDIO]
Oprah traveled to New Jersey to talk with Governor Christie about love, politics and his lifelong struggle with his weight. In an hour long interview on “Oprah’s Next Chapter” Sunday night, Christie was first asked about his relationship with his wife Mary Pat, whom he met at the University of Delaware in the 1980s.
“She was fun in a different way than I’d ever experienced with anybody I’d ever dated. She was very spontaneous,” Christie told Winfrey.
“Spontaneous like?” Winfrey asked.
“Let’s go break into the kitchen in the dining hall at college because we smell that they are baking doughnuts for the next morning,” he recalled Mary Pat saying. “So let’s sneak in and steal some of the doughnuts now.”
Christie and Winfrey spoke at length about controlling their weight and managing the criticism surrounding it; specifically, what it feels like to be on the short end of a Dave Letterman fat joke.
“It didn’t bother you?” Winfrey asked. “Because let me tell you, when David Letterman was making jokes about me, it bothered me.”
“I think I was girded for it, Oprah, I really do,” Christie responded, saying he had developed “a shell about it.”
The coversation turned emotional, when Christie was asked to describe one of the final conversations he had with his late- mother.
“It was one of her final days…and I went to the hospital to see her and she came to and said to me, go to work. I said mom I’m here to visit with you…and she said, go to work, its where you belong…there’s nothing left unsaid between us.”
Moving onto politics, Oprah asked the governor about what he called the “war in Congress.” Christie said that the nation’s leaders needed to take some notes from Jersey.
“I think they like what’s going on here in New Jersey…because let me tell you…we fight to the death in public, and then we get in a room and we say there’s a boulevard between not compromising your principles and getting everything you want. I realize I won’t get everything I want, but I won’t compromise my principles…and I think that’s what’s not happening in Washington these days.”
Elected in a Democratic-leaning New Jersey 2009, Christie quickly became YouTube sensation and darling of the Republican party for his blunt style, and pressure quickly mounted for him to run for the White House in 2012. He briefly considered changing his mind against running this fall, but didn’t and instead endorsed Mitt Romney, whom he has been campaigning hard for ever since.
Christie said Mitt Romney is going to need to connect better to the American people if he is going to eventually beat Obama. “I think he’s got the depth of knowledge and experience to be a good President…I think a challenge for him is going to be to connect to people in a way that convinces people that they can trust him.”
Winfrey, who openly endorsed Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential elections, asked Christie what advice Christie he had for the president and what he thought Obama’s chances for re-election were. Surprisingly, Christie warned that those who underestimate Obama as a campaigner do so at their own peril.
“He is as good a politician as I’ve ever seen. … He’s really good at it. And I think he’s very charismatic. And I think he’s genuine. I think what he says he believes he believes. That’s a very dangerous politician.”
In addition to the nice things he had to say about President Obama, Christie also told Oprah that he would be better prepared to run for president in 2016 “Is that compass telling you that you may be ready four years from now?” Winfrey questioned.
“Who knows? It depends on who wins. Is the president re-elected? Does a Republican win? I don’t know,” Christie said. “But in terms of me, I’ll be much more ready four years from now than I am now.”