New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ended months of speculation about the possibility he could enter the GOP presidential primary contest on Tuesday during a lengthy press conference that covered a wide range of questions -- including some about his weight.
Asked if he was bothered by jokes made by comedians regarding his figure, Christie sought to draw a clear distinction between those seeking to get laughs at his expense and reporters attempting to make connections between his weight and his ability to govern.
"Their job is to be funny, and if one of the things they wanna make fun of is my weight then, you know, it's fair game -- I'm a public figure," Christie told reporters. "All I care about is that they actually are funny, you know so that I can at least laugh about it while they're mocking me."
Christie continued, saying he's "not self-conscious," but rather "self-aware" about his weight and went on to blast "ignorant" reporters who had suggested his size was somehow a reflection of his capacity to be an effective leader.
"They further stigmatize people in a way that is really irrelevant to people's ability to do a particular job," Christie said. "Those are the people we should really look down upon."
Last week, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance defended Christie against criticism that his weight had the potential to complicate his political ambitions.
"I see it as a tactic to try and take attention away from his accomplishments and instead focus on his body size," Peggy Howell, public relations director for the group said. "Do people have a bias against President Obama because he smokes? Why should there be any difference in supporting a leader who smokes cigarettes or a leader who has a little extra weight on his body? Neither are perceived to be healthy choices."
See top video for Christie's comments from his press conference.