It almost appears to be a joke headline or a hoax, but it’s not. The 53-year-old New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has commanded another man to lose weight, reports the Associated Press. The man in question is Air Force Brigadier General Michael Cunniff — and though there are no exact specifics on how much Cunniff weighs, he’s got 90 days to get slimmer.
As expected, Governor Christie is getting an earful of comments from those folks who’ve watched Christie struggle with his own weight over the years. The fact that the leader of New Jersey’s National Guard has been told to lose weight by Gov. Chris — with Christie himself admitting to weight loss surgery and then being mocked for not losing weight fast enough — is causing articles about the situation to be shared a-plenty online.
As reported by the New York Post, Christie apparently didn’t know that Cunniff had already been warned by the Pentagon to lose weight, plus that the general had avoided physical fitness tests. Gov. Christie’s spokesman Kevin Roberts said it was “unacceptable and disappointing” for Cunniff to skip out on his fitness tests, according to New Jersey 101.5.
“Gov. Christie was not informed of this issue by Gen Cunniff until last week and the governor has expressed directly to the General that his failure to meet that standard or to provide notification of his formal reprimand is both unacceptable and disappointing. The governor has directed Gen. Cunniff to meet his obligations in the next 90 days.”
The general did admit to failing the fitness requirements, as seen in an image from the Washington Post showing communication about Cunniff’s weight issues. Cunniff’s waist equaled 43.5 inches in November 2013 — measured during his first fitness test in three years or more. That waist was 4.5 inches larger than the 39-inch waist allowed to pass the test.
“IO2: Why did you not take the test for three years running?
Cunniff: I had gained a lot of weight… and since I couldn’t pass it because of my weight/waist size… [my supervisor] was okay with me continuing to lose weight and try to pass it.”
The information about the weight issue was gleaned via the Freedom of Information Act, but it is unknown how many pounds the general must drop. Only his waist size reduction requirements are known at this time.
Christie’s stomach banding surgery, which some say he secretly underwent in 2013, restricted his eating. The general admits his weight is a struggle.
“Many people struggle with weight control — I am not immune from this. However, I do recognize that military members and leaders, like myself, are held to a higher standard. I take this matter seriously and am taking the necessary steps to remedy this issue.”
[Image via Sean Rayford/Getty Images News]