Despite his hot-headed reputation, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie kept his cool in New York City Wednesday, laughing off numerous jokes about his weight during an appearance on NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
Decked out in a suit and tie, Christie said “I feel like I’m on this show every night” – an apparent reference to the jokes the comedian has routinely made about the governor. When Fallon told Christie “You look great!” Christie asked facetiously, ”If I look great, what the hell with all the jokes every night?” In turn, Fallon thanked Christie for “all the material.”
The likely 2016 presidential candidate remained coy about his decision to enter the race, saying, “I’ve got a day job which keeps me busy,” and told Fallon to expect a formal announcement about his potential candidacy in May or June.
Asked about those who have already thrown their proverbial hats into the ring – including GOP Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – Christie replied diplomatically, calling them all “fine Americans” with a smirk on his face, and implied that his true opinions remain under wraps. “If I run, you’ll find out exactly what I think of them,” he said.
Having revealed his favorite dessert (ice cream) at a town hall meeting last month, Fallon introduced Christie to “The Tonight Dough” – a limited edition flavor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream named for the late-night program. Fallon plopped a pint onto his desk, holding a spoon and handing another to Christie before the governor picked up the pint and moved away from Fallon, hoarding the sweet treat for himself. “You have to share!” Fallon exclaimed.
Throughout the interview, Fallon encouraged Christie to be more like “Avengers” superhero The Incredible Hulk. He asked the Republican about a now-notorious incident that occurred last year in which Christie told New Jersey resident James Keady to “sit down and shut up” at one of the governor’s town hall events after Keady criticized Christie’s Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. “There’s only one Chris Christie. This is it. I’m not gonna be someone else if I run for president,” Christie told Fallon.
But if his home state polling numbers are any indication, Christie has a long slog ahead of him when it comes to winning over the voting public. According to a new Quinnipiac poll, Christie’s job approval rating hit an all-time low among Garden State voters, with only 38% approving of his job performance.
Additional reporting by Aliyah Frumin.