Heard on the Hill

Richard Simmons to Congress: You Can Cope if You Have Hope

Fitness maestro Richard Simmons is worried about Capitol Hill.

“I think there’s a lot of stress in Washington," he said about the government shutdown in an exclusive interview with HOH. "You should be blessed, not stressed."

Richard Simmons wants people on the Hill to be happy! (CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

Richard Simmons wants people on the Hill to be happy! (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

He expressed concern for the members, Hill staffers and reporters feeling worn down by the drama. But he noted there are many Americans with self-esteem and weight issues who are far worse off than those caught in the middle of this political crisis.

"I planted a weeping willow tree just to sit under it and cry," he said of his contact with those individuals.

“You can cope if you have hope," he added. "And that’s what I try to give people.”

He was adamant that even amid the political chaos, Washingtonians should still prioritize a healthy lifestyle.

And despite terrible approval ratings, members can take heart in the fact that they have at least one fan.

“It is not an easy task to deal with payrolls and taxes and people not paying things. I could sit here and cry on the phone with you," he added. "We just have to take each day and be positive in a big way.”

Overall, though, Simmons avoids talking politics. He said that when students at his Los Angeles studio "Slimmons" discuss the topic, they turn red and get wrinkles.

“I don’t want wrinkles," he said. "I'm too cute.”