(WASHINGTON) — Aaron Schock, the Republican representative from Illinois, is best known for two things. At 31, he’s the youngest member of Congress. And he posed shirtless last year on the cover of Men’s Health magazine, displaying a dazzling set of abs in a photo that spread across the Internet faster than you can say “obliques.”
After appearing on the This Week roundtable Sunday, Schock answered viewer questions they had submitted via Facebook and Twitter. The congressman gamely answered the questions, which focused mainly on those areas for which he’s well known. ABC News’ Kaye Foley relayed the questions from the Internet’s inquiring minds.
Does your age affect the way other members in Congress address you?
Schock: “I was on the school board as the youngest member, the state legislature, and now in Congress as the youngest member and I have found that my fellow Congress members have always treated me with respect. It’s a lot like high school, in some respect. You show up, you do your homework, you come prepared with good ideas. You have any equal vote among the 435 members of Congress. Your vote is just as valued as someone else’s.”
Can you address the growing speculation that you plan to run for governor of Illinois in 2014?
Schock: This is probably the fact that Illinois is in a world of hurt. Four of our last six governors have been indicted, gone to prison. That’s hardly a record to be proud of. I think people are looking for something different. Somebody new, somebody younger, somebody honest. I think I fit those bills. I haven’t decided whether that’s something I want to do at this point. Now that 2012 is over, I’m going to have to look at 2014 and make a decision. It’s a daunting task … but whether I run or someone else runs, we need some new leadership in Illinois.
What do you think of P90X? (Note: P90X is the workout regimen most recently made famous by VP nominee Paul Ryan)
My buddy Paul Ryan, I have him to thank for getting me into P90X. I’ve always been into working out before even coming to Congress, but he’s really the one who talked me into trying P90X, and it’s a great workout. We meet at 6:30 every morning in the gym and work out. It’s a great habit to get into, that no matter how late my night is the night before, if I don’t show up at 6:30, I’m getting a lot of crap from my colleagues. I’ve started a new workout called CrossFit, and I’ve been enjoying that as well. It’s important to shake it up.
What is it like being known for your six-pack? Were you jealous of the attention Paul Ryan has gotten for his biceps?
No, Paul Ryan can have all that attention (on his biceps). I joke that being known for six packs is a lot better than the alternative. If you look at who I serve with in Congress, they could use a few hours in the gym. That said, all the debate we have in Washington about health care and health care dollars … really the debate always centers on who pays for that. The reality is the biggest driver for health care costs are individual choices.
When two-thirds of our country is obese or overweight, I’d say that’s an epidemic. I’m trying to lead by example. It’s a lot easier to pass laws saying don’t eat this, ban this kind of food, but I think leadership by example is the best way to try and get people engaged.
I hear from a lot of people, a lot of people who say, ‘You know, we read your Men’s Health piece. I lead a busy life, I’ve got kids at home, I work, I’m on the road as well, and that inspired me to go out, to get in shape and get into a workout regimen.’”
Who has the best arms in Washington, D.C. Michelle Obama, Paul Ryan, or you?
I’d probably have to say Michelle Obama.
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