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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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November 7th, 2013
06:14 PM ET

Roundtable: Is Time magazine's Chris Christie cover fat shaming?

Some would call Time magazine's new cover featuring freshly re-elected New Jersey Governor Chris Christie a heavy-handed pun, others – a fat-shaming cheap shot. But no one would call it subtle.

Time is owned by CNN's parent company.

The new cover features Christie, along with the headline: "The Elephant in the Room."

This comes at a time when there are concerted efforts to teach people, kids especially, to refrain from bullying, and not make fun of how people look.

"Look, figuratively speaking it's very true. The 2016 race that's going to form around Christie, he's the elephant in the room, in the race," said Michael Crowley, deputy Washington bureau chief of Time magazine, who did not write the headline.

"Basically this is a story about how he is a huge political player in the Republican Party right now and will decide the early contours of the 2016 race, and that's what (Time reporter) Michael Scherer's great story is about," said Crowley.

"It is constantly talked about. Everybody asks him about it. He lives with it, and I assure you as somebody who struggles with weight myself, I'm sure a day doesn't go by where he doesn't find his own reminders of it," said CNN political commentator Hilary Rosen.

"For the media to kind of take it and exploit it that way ... it's just rude," said Rosen.

"I read the article. It's a good article. It doesn't go into, 'Is his weight something that should weigh on voters' minds, so to speak? Is it something that's going to be a problem?' It doesn't discuss that. The only time it comes up is in this cheap shot on the cover. I think it's in poor taste," said Ramesh Ponnuru, editor at National Review and visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

For more of our political panel, check out the video above.

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