June 4th, 2013
04:24 PM ET
11 months ago

Christie accused of 'debilitating stupidity' after election decision

(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.


Filed under: Chris Christie • Dick Armey
soundoff (1,230 Responses)
  1. steve

    Wow, every post I read supporting Christie! It is refreshing to see a politician siding with the electorate instead of their party's interests.

    June 4, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. Fred Evil

    "All Christie has to do is appoint a Republican. "
    Or to put it another way, "All Christie has to do is go against the will of the people, who elected a Democrat."
    Props to Christie, ignore the GoP, they're in their death spasms as it is.

    June 4, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. liberal disease

    imagine Obama doing something like this never! but Christie's has never been loyal to his party except when he needs campaign cash..he is a liberal republican..

    June 4, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. Chris

    Perhaps they should add a law that the replacement must be from the same party as the deceased.

    June 4, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. Danny

    Wow, i think the only person suffering from debilitating stupidity is Dick Armey. What an idiot.

    June 4, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  6. Serameteis

    Armey is wrong. Democrats will vote for Christie because he has shown over and over again that he does what he thinks is best for his state and is not interested in playing political games.

    June 4, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  7. Theresa

    Armey: "All Christie has to do is appoint a Republican. That's the correct move for him to make. Now, I put it down as debilitating stupidity." Perhaps thats the correct move for the GOP but not for NJ. Christie did what he thought best for his home state. He is elected by citizens of NJ to do what is best for everyone in the State. It about time that the GOP remember that. They should be doing what's best for the entire country not their party.

    June 4, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  8. MiBigAl

    I'm 65 and have never voted republican going all the way back to 1968 but I would consider voting for him. Finally someone with the guts to do "the right thing" instead of the politically right thing. I'll reserve final judgement but it's a step in the right direction. Dick Army, like most of the GOP, appear to be suffering from a terminal case of Cranial Rectulitis.

    June 4, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  9. BJ

    "A Democratic governor would have "seized the opportunity" and appointed a senator from his own party, Armey argued Tuesday."

    Maybe he's right; however, in this case the vacated seat was held by a Democrat. I do think Christie is doing this to curry favor with Democrats and Independents; however, what he is doing is also the right thing. The voters should be able to decide.

    June 4, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. *sigh*

    Letting the people choose their politicians is debilitating stupidity? I hope this gets plastered everywhere.

    June 4, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  11. Charles Pennington

    Look up stupid in the dictionary and what do you see Armeny. Chis Christe has my total support and Im a democrat that voted for him and will again and again vote for him He is exactly what our country needs.

    June 4, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  12. twalk

    why should he appoint a republycon? He could keep him mind open to a independent or democrat as well as a republycon.

    June 4, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  13. Whitley

    This Democrat is going to love him for being the guy who plays fair rather than takes the political opportunity.

    June 4, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  14. Mark

    Armey and his ilk are everything wrong with this country. His comments are borderline anti-American,disgusting and have no place in our democracy.

    June 4, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  15. Pieter

    Christie has me thinking that there may be someone worthwhile to vote for President in the Republican party finally. I want someone willing to cross that aisle and work to get things done instead of playing politics. This country is being destroyed by tearing us apart instead of working together to solve our problems. I for one have had enough of these lifelong politicians and am ready for an angry man willing to put politics aside and work for the people for a change. Go Christie.

    June 4, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  16. Daedalus1959

    Governor Christie is emblematic of ideals, integrity, and actions that the entire country needs to continue moving forward. Dick Armey is emblematic of churlish conservatives whose drag chute is tethered to the progress they fear most. Progress versus orthodoxy... guess which one usually wins in the end?

    June 4, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  17. cedaly1968

    Republicans just keep begging the broader electorate not to vote for them. For the sake of the future of the GOP, in GOP only congressional districts, only select NEW Republicans under the age of 50. If the GOP continues down this path, the party will fracture into The Taliban Party (sorry, TEA) and "the grumpy old men who want zero taxes while you die of foreign battlefields so they can make money foreclosing on your home" party.

    @liberal disease – Bill Gates is a Republican and so is Chuck Hagel

    June 4, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  18. Jrad

    This is all part of his Christie's plan to be more electable for the upcoming 2016 elections. It may not win him any friends among his peers, but it will among the general public.

    June 4, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  19. Mike

    Dick Armey is exactly what's WRONG with American politics and Governor Christie is an example of what's RIGHT with American politics. We need less Armeys and more Christies. Wish I lived in NJ, land of the free and home of the brave.

    June 4, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  20. tx234

    Armey: The first rule of politics is 'Don't lose the friends you already have for the friends you're never going to get.

    That's right, except the friends he's never going to get is the Tea Party. There is no one that he could appoint that would be conservative enough for them, this is a smart way for him to leave it up to the people.

    June 4, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  21. truthteller

    So Christie elects to let the people choose their new Congressman and the GOP calls that Stupid? And Republicans wonder why they keep losing elections.

    June 4, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  22. havamom

    Isn 't Dick Armey part of that CPAC group that purposely REFUSED TO INVITE Christie to their big meeting? Who are Christie's 'alleged' friends in the R? What R stood up for Christie then? Sorry, Dick, that dog don't hunt....(I don't exactly know what that means but I do like its sound)

    June 4, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  23. burgett85

    Calling for a special election and letting the PEOPLE decide who they want to fill the now vacant New Jersey Senate seat sounds like the way a true Democracy should work. Politics and corruption (e.g. the Illinois Governor Blagojevich fiasco) should be kept OUT of the process. It’s indeed a truly commendable decision on Governor Christie’s part and he should be admired for it not criticized.

    June 4, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  24. Bob

    Glad the right thing over the political/career/money thing actually get's done at least 1% of the time... surprised actually. Bravo!

    June 4, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  25. wm Scot

    This guy " Christy" is one smart guy no matter what his party handlers say ! He is going to go after the POTUS position and have the country behind him for his bi-partisan stance. So Dick do not be one and understand what he is doing !

    June 4, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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