From the book Double Down, as excerpted today in Time:
Punctuality mattered to Romney. Christie’s lateness bugged him. Mitt also cared about fitness and was prone to poke fun at those who didn’t. (“Oh, there’s your date for tonight,” he would say to male members of his traveling crew when they spied a chunky lady on the street.) Romney marveled at Christie’s girth, his difficulties in making his way down the narrow aisle of the campaign bus. Watching a video of Christie without his suit jacket on, Romney cackled to his aides, “Guys! Look at that!”
Wow, what a fucking asshole.
Look, I don’t care what your opinion of fat people is. I really don’t. Maybe you’re into the fat-acceptance movement. Maybe you’re not. Maybe you are fat. Maybe you used to be fat. Whatever. I don’t care. But here’s the thing:
Can we at least comport ourselves with a modicum of human decency?
Hey, if you see someone morbidly obese and think to yourself, “Christ, that’s not good,” then whatever goes on in the privacy of your own thoughts is your business. But when you’re running a large organization — when you’re running for President, for God’s sake! — maybe it would behoove you to at least pretend to be a human being?
We’re not talking about, “Oh, man, we need to look out for the health of these obese people.” No. We’re talking about adolescent-level ridicule. From a grown man who should know better and should be ashamed.
Sniping at random overweight people on the streets? Because, yeah, ha-ha, the very thought that any of the lily white, can-afford-a-gym-membership douchebags on the Romney campaign would get caught mackin’ on a fatty is hilarious! Let’s all giggle like fucking high school boys. Let’s dare Tag to go ask the fat girl out on a dare.
And oh, wow! Look, here’s a fat slob daring to peel off a layer of his corpulent personal onionhood, going without a suit jacket. In public!1 Fucking hilarious! Bring the popcorn! (Extra butter — we’re allowed because we’re not fat!)
You know, if you “care about fitness,” then you can lead by example. And if you’re particularly close to someone who isn’t fit, you can maybe talk to them about it, sensitively, if you’re genuinely concerned for them. And if you “care about fitness” and you’re President, you can lead a mature national discussion on it and set up programs to encourage fitness. (You can do this if you’re First Lady, too. Ahem.2)
What you shouldn’t do, though, is just outright mock people. Treat them as subhuman. That’s precisely what Romney did (and, most likely, still does). It’s certainly not the attitude or behavior I would want in a President.
Good thing I didn’t vote for him. I always suspected that, beyond touting bad policy and under the leading-man good looks and Reagan-hair, he was a garden-variety total asshole. I was right.