New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's weight has been a key concern during his years in the public eye, prompting the release of a medical report declaring Christie "fit to serve as governor" during his reelection campaign last month.
Matthews was speaking at Thinkfest, a weeklong event sponsored by Philadelphia magazine at the Rittenhouse Hotel, when magazine editor Tom McGrath asked Matthews' take on Christie's potential 2016 bid.
"Two days after Election Day, Chris Christie has crushed his opponent. Is he gonna be the Republican ..." began McGrath.
"The one I feel for is his wife," Matthews cut in.
After a brief pause, some chuckled as McGrath asked, "Why's that?"
"Did you just say, 'crush?'" Matthews said. "I mean, use your imagination."
The crowd erupted.
Matthews didn't seem to regret the jab, but was quick to call Christie a "great guy." He told attendees that the last time he made a joke about Christie's weight, the governor called him and said, "I'm working on it."
That may have been a reference to a 2011 incident in which Matthews called Christie the "moon over New Jersey."
"I saw him the other day and I was amazed by him," Matthews said during a "Q & A Cafe" event two years ago with Carol Joynt. "He must be 300-plus, and that’s something he’s just gotta deal with, because you’re not going to say, ‘I’m going to cut the budget,’ well, how about starting with supper?”