GOP’s Christie, Huckabee defend First Lady’s obesity plan

February 28, 2011

By The Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON — Two prominent Republicans, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and likely 2012 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, came to the defense of First Lady Michelle Obama’s efforts to reduce childhood obesity today.

Speaking on separate Sunday talk shows, the Republicans said they stood behind Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign despite conservative criticism.

Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor who shed many pounds himself when in office, said on “Fox News Sunday” that obesity is a problem threatening the welfare of the entire country.

“What Michelle Obama is proposing is not that the government tells you that you can’t eat dessert,” Huckabee said. Rather, the first lady wants Americans “to recognize that we have a serious obesity crisis — which we do,” Huckabee said.

Recently, prominent voices on the right, including Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, and radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh have criticized the anti-obesity efforts. They say it’s a sign of overbearing government.

This month, Limbaugh said Obama is “requiring what everybody can and can’t eat. She’s demanding that everybody basically eat cardboard and tofu. No calories, no fat, no nothing.”

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