(CNN) - Gov. Chris Christie's decision to set a special election this year to fill New Jersey's vacant Senate seat wasn't met with open arms Tuesday by a fellow Republican, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey.
Speaking to CNN's Jake Tapper on "The Lead," Armey accused the governor of trying to curry favor with Democrats by not appointing a Republican to the seat until 2014. He'll name an interim senator by next week to serve until the special election.
"All Christie has to do is appoint a Republican. That's the correct move for him to make," Armey said. "Now, I put it down as debilitating stupidity. The first rule of politics is 'Don't lose the friends you already have for the friends you're never going to get.' And if he thinks the Democrats are going to love him for being the guy who plays fair rather than takes the political opportunity he's crazy."
A Democratic governor would have "seized the opportunity" and appointed a senator from his own party, Armey argued Tuesday.
"People that run for office in politics make political decisions rather than policy decisions often commit debilitating stupidity," Armey said. "Most often it's done by the left, but frequently done by Republicans as well."
Until last year, Armey served as the chairman of the conservative, tea party-aligned group FreedomWorks.
I'm a Democrat and I like Christie he's to the point has high expectations and gets things done quite unlike Republicans in Congress.
Dick, let's see. The seat was held by a Democrat. NJ has voted overwhelmingly Democrat for most of the past several decades. Christie is up for election.
Yep, completely inexplicable. The guy has no political smarts. What a fluke that he got himself elected as a Republican in NY....
What ever happened to assigning the best qualified person for the job, regardless of party. OH NO we can't do that. That's what's wrong with everything in Government.
"assigning the best qualified person" is a right that belongs to the people, not the politicians. In any case, seeing as how this vacant seat was formerly filled by a democrat, the "best qualified person" to refill it probably isn't a republican.
What I'm hearing is that most Republicans would rather have had more deaths and property damage to the mostly Democratic areas of NJ, and they resent Christie for saving those lives because they feel that he could have said more mean things about the President instead of doing his job.
The Party of Stupid again. Wise up, guys. Get off the Dark Side.
Dick Armey is one of those nasty Republicans who is debilitatingly stupid!