Chris Christie, the heavyweight Republican front-runner for the 2016 presidential candidacy, has insisted that being fat won't prevent him getting to the White House.
The Governor of New Jersey accepted that at 25 stones he is "more than a little" overweight but he dismissed suggestions he is too fat to be president.
When asked in an interview on ABC television if he was too heavy to lead the nation he said: "That's ridiculous. I don't know what the basis for that is."
Interviewer Barbara Walters said that there were worries that being so heavy would mean his health wouldn't stand up to being president.
The governor, who has been widely praised for his handling of the clear-up operation following Superstorm Sandy, said his recent performances showed he was perfectly capable of doing a demanding job.
He said: "I've done this job pretty well, and I think people watched me for the last number of weeks and Hurricane Sandy doing 18-hour days and getting right back up the next day and still being just as effective in the job. So I don't really think that would be a problem."
He has yet, however, to declare whether he will stand for the Republican nomination in 2016 but his name has been floated. He considered running for this year's presidential election.
Rather than rule himself out of the running at this stage he is content to parry suggestions he will seek to enter the White House. "I don't know what I'll feel like in 2016," he said. "First things first, that was another thing my mother taught me."
In November he announced he will be seeking another term as New Jersey Governor, saying he wants to lead the post-storm rebuilding and that the year left in his first term wouldn't be enough to finish the job.
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