Gov. Chris Christie in hospital after asthma attack

SOMERVILLE, N.J. — Gov. Chris Christie was “in charge and at work” in a hospital room Thursday following emergency treatment for asthma, his deputy chief of staff said.

The blunt-talking governor, who some Republicans have been trying to persuade to run for president, was taken to the S

omerset Medical Center on Thursday morning after he had difficulty breathing.

Christie, who uses an inhaler for asthma and is overweight, was headed to a bill signing when he felt unwell. The governor was driven to the hospital by his state police security detail out of an “abundance of cauti

on,” gubernatorial spokesman Michael Drewniak said.

The 48-year-old walked into Somerset Medical Center at around 10:30 a.m. and was working from there Thursday afternoon, said Maria Comella, his deputy chief of staff. Christie’s EKG, blood work and chest X-ray were normal, and the governor expected to be discharged from the hospital Thursday evening, Comella said.

In a post on Facebook, Christie’s brother Todd Christie described the problem as an asthma attack.

The last time Christie sought emergency treatment for asthma was when he was in law school, Drewniak said.

His wife, Mary Pat, was at the hospital but left after a few hours. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno was in her office at the Statehouse.

Christie canceled his monthly “Ask the Governor” radio show, which was scheduled for Thursday night.

“All breathing problems should be considered a medical emergency until proven otherwise,” said Dr. Mark Rosenberg, who heads the emergency medicine department at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, N.J., and is not involved in Christie’s care.

Christie, a former federal prosecutor who took office 18 months ago, has drawn praise from fiscal conservatives and complaints from unions for efforts to trim benefits for public employees as part of steep budget cuts. His national profile also has risen, in part, for his frank and sometimes confrontational exchanges with the media.

The governor attended an education conference and a congressional fundraiser in Iowa on Monday, where he again told reporters he was not running for president. He has said that his four school-age children and further goals in his first term rule out a White House bid, but Republicans continue to court him.

The governor has made headlines for his sometimes stormy relationship with Democratic lawmakers.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney recently called Christie a “bully and a punk” after the governor cut $1.3 billion from the state budget Democrats had sent him. But on Thursday Sweeney issued a statement wishing the governor a speedy recovery.

“Politics goes out the door at a time like this, and I join all of New Jersey in wishing the governor well and hoping for his swift return,” Sweeney said.

Christie has been open about some of his health problems.

He has long struggled with his weight, which he said he started putting on after high school when he stopped playing organized sports. He’s tried dozens of diets over the years with varying success and has shed some pounds in recent months.

His weight came up during his 2009 campaign against Democrat incumbent Jon Corzine, who ran an ad accusing Christie of “throwing his weight around” to get out of traffic citations while he was U.S. attorney. Christie confronted the ads head on, telling Corzine to “man up and say I’m fat.”

In April, Christie told a town hall meeting in Hamilton, “I’m an asthmatic and I take an inhaler every morning.”

Christie was named the state’s top federal law enforcement officer after playing an important role in President George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign in the state.

He soon gained national exposure by overseeing two major terrorism convictions and the convictions of dozens of public officials on corruption charges.

Christie’s hospitalization lit up Twitter, with some people offering well wishes and others ridiculing him for his weight, trying to connect it to his asthma.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter, who supports a Christie presidential run, made light of the situation.

“I took Christie’s inhaler away until he promised to run in 2012,” she tweeted.

Christie personally joined in from his hospital room, taking to Twitter to thank Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono, a frequent critic, for her get-well wishes: “Thx 4 your kind thoughts…and BTW, Happy Birthday!”

Talk to us

More in Local News

Julie Copeland, center, with her daughters Lillian, 11, Naomi, 7 and son, Michah, 9 with their dog Pippin, 3, outside of Mary's Place on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 in Burien, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A family of 6 pitched tent in Forest Park — then help arrived

Everett’s innovative team of a police officer and a social worker aided them in their time of greatest need.

A major fire broke out on the Everett waterfront Monday morning in an apparently difficult location. (Sue Misao / The Herald) 20181008
Everett boater gets house arrest for fraud in marina fire

He lost his boat in a 2018 fire. But valuables he claimed were destroyed weren’t burned. He sold them on OfferUp.

Port of Everett, state offer new small business grants

Port tenants and companies affected by COVID-19 health restrictions are encouraged to apply.

New Snohomish County online guide aims to boost businesses

County officials have launched an online business directory to help shoppers find local food and wares.

Man arrested after allegedly shooting at, fleeing deputies

A homeowner reportedly found the Lake Stevens man, 40, hiding in a garage and called 911.

Local economic relief programs to get $4.5 million infusion

The new cash will go to small businesses via city grant programs and Economic Alliance Snohomish County.

Auditor: Lack of oversight led to errors in Sultan finances

For a second time, the state auditor’s office urged the city to improve its financial review process.

Voters Brie Roberts, 28, and Michael Woods, 30, vote for the first time at the Robert J. Drewel Administration Building on the Snohomsish County Campus on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Voters young and old put this election in the record book

Generations X and Z, and Millennials, showed up and increased their share of votes compared to 2016.

$250,000 bail for Everett man accused of firing at deputy

A five-mile chase ended with the suspect allegedly breaking into a Mill Creek home Saturday night.

Most Read