Chris Christie may be known as a bull in the political world, but when it comes to lunch, he’s more of a rabbit.
The New Jersey Republican governor attended a luncheon benefit on Wednesday in New York City, where he was honored with a “Father of the Year” award.
Christie’s size has drawn attention for years, with some speculating it could hurt his chances for a 2016 presidential bid.
While the menu for the recipients and more than 800 attendees featured filet mignon bathed in a creamy horseradish sauce, potatoes, yellow wax beans, asparagus, bread and a berry tart, Christie opted for lighter fare – a heaping bowl of lettuce sprinkled with a tiny bit of Parmesan cheese, with dressing on the side.
Two waiters at the event at the Hilton Hotel in midtown Manhattan told msnbc that Christie, before the ceremony, specifically asked to be served a green salad instead of the steak. Christie then changed his request to a Caesar salad, they said.
The governor has insisted he got secret lap band surgery last year for his wife and children – not because he has his eye on the Oval Office. His weight came under particular scrutiny in February 2013, when Connie Mariano, a former White House doctor told CNN she was “worried about this man dying in office,” adding he was “a time bomb waiting to happen.”
Christie responded that unless Mariano had given him a physical exam and knows the ins and outs about his family history, “she should shut up.”
The calorie-conscious governor has dropped a significant amount of weight after the lap band procedure. Two constituents at a town hall meeting complimented Christie on his slimmer physique at a town hall event earlier this month in Ocean County, N.J. The governor said that his wife wants him to buy new suits because of the weight loss, but he’s he’s watching his wallet. “I gotta be careful, you know?” he said to laughs from the audience. Christie acknowledged he’s “much smaller” than he used to be.
His weight loss even prompted Politico to ask health experts this week how many pounds they think he lost. They said about 85.