NEWARK, N.J. —
The next day, he responded angrily to comments from a former White House physician who said she hoped he would run for president but worried about him dying in office. The governor said the doctor should "shut up."
Ten days after that, on Feb. 16, Christie had the surgery. He said the operation lasted 40 minutes and he was home the same afternoon. He was back at work on Feb. 19 for a full day of events.
Christie, who is in the midst of a re-election campaign, said he has been eating less because he hasn't been as hungry. He also has been working out with a personal trainer.
He said he had told only a few top staffers — not his communications office or campaign staff — and his communications director was caught by surprise Monday when a New York Post reporter asked directly if he'd had the procedure. The Post first reported the surgery on Tuesday. Christie said he'd used an alias at the hospital.
Christie said he never intended to make a public announcement and that he was "not going to be the guy who writes a book" about losing weight. The Republican, who has been a fixture in the national media spotlight, said the scrum of reporters at his news conference was "silly" and "ridiculous" at a time when there are other things going on.
He said he tried other ways to lose weight for years, but none seemed to work.
"It's not a career issue for me; it's a long-term health issue for me," he said.
Still, it's a way to confront a significant hurdle in his indisputable quest to emerge as a key leader in the Republican Party. He's in the top tier of those considered potential contenders for the presidential nomination in 2016.