June 4th, 2013
04:24 PM ET
2 years 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. Snark

    I'm sure Armey's pisssed. These seats are golden... you don't want to let the foolish voter decide who occupies this seat! duh!

    June 4, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. Jackie

    Christi used Obama to draw in Democrat votes as the Poster of Bipartisanship with his photo ops with the President. The plan was to get enough people to believe this and push Christi as a GOP Presidential candidate with no Republicans in the race just clown Tea Party. Well Christi gave larger State tax breaks for the wealthy while raising the fees on all public services and ignoring the high unemployment rate and the calls for help from citizens effected in the Sandy Storm. Well things were going great until the Senator died. Well Christi has to now fine a way not to hurt his Party but still suck up to Democrats. He found the answer let the taxpayer foot the bill for a special election. Yes tell the people he wants them to decide while spending money they don't have. To cover the extra large cost Christi will just raise the taxes for people who can't afford it.

    June 4, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  3. Arch

    What Dick Armey is against, i'm for. Thanks for the tip, Dick!

    June 4, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. williplantsman

    Armey? Could you share something relevant? Wait a minute,... it is relevant. This guy is demonstrating why the Republican party is the "Elite American" party. Hopefully, the 99%, or the "rest of us", will someday graduate like him so we can be like him,....worthy (in our own mind).

    June 4, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  5. Joe in Kalispell

    Christie is a Democrat in Republican clothing.

    June 4, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  6. tet1953

    Why does the GOP hate Christie? Because he's reasonable, has common sense? Because he hugged Obama for helping his state? Christie is one of very few GOP I could vote for, for anything.

    June 4, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  7. Homie

    Maybe, there are Republicans, who do what is right, for their constituents, rather than their party. Who ed of thunk it.

    June 4, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  8. Bob

    Finally – a republican with balls to not bow down to the tea party!

    June 4, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  9. Wes Scott

    Dick Armey is the true founder of the Tea Party, and that is all anybody needs to know to confirm is status as one suffering from "debilitating stupidity." Armey is a disgrace to the US Constitution and the principles upon which this nation was founded.

    June 4, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  10. rs

    Christie seems to be turning his back on the GOP's "dark side" politics. The position was held by an elected Democrat, nominating a Republican would have been immoral, so holding a primary and an election this year seems quite reasonable. The GOP doesn't normally do "reasonable". Dick Armey meanwhile (Mr. TEA Party) might need to recognize that not embracing his brand of insanity is something most Americans look favorably on.

    June 4, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  11. rs

    Armey's comment are right on. Just ask yourserf "What would Obama do?"....
    ________________________________
    As you have no clue, and NO FACTS to base such an assertion on- what difference does your comment make?

    June 4, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  12. Stephen

    Gods christy I disagree with a lot of your policy but ever since Sandy you have shaken off the shackles of partisanship and complimented and derided people because they deserved it not because of their party. I would vote for you for president just because right now you are proving to be one of the only grown ups out there.

    June 4, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  13. Wally

    Oh, I don't know about that, Dick.

    June 4, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  14. Ronnie R.

    Mr. Armey, it takes stupid to know stupid.

    June 4, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  15. downwithnazis

    Christie is a politician. Armey is aright-wing hack. The right has written him off. If he changes parties,the dems will be glad to have him. He has no right wing pals.

    June 4, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  16. TheThinker

    I'm so very disappointed by Rep Armey's uncivil, partisan tone... I'm not disagreeing with him that this country is having a political civil war, and that half of the country (25% of the left and 25% on the right) put the good of their party firmly before the good of the country. What I find most disappointing is that the political class in this country, pitting Left against Right, makes the middle class poor and the under class even poorer, increasing the political vitriol even more.
    Hopefully non-partisan politicians will begin putting country first, and Gov Christie can lead the movement.

    BTW, this whole mess is due to We the Voters who for 30 years have not elected anyone who would balance a budget. No Rep or Dem for 30 years has had a serious plan to balance a budget, and even when a stock market bubble made it look like we had a surplus, the govt simply started spending even more. It's not the Dems' fault for spending nor the Reps' fault for cutting taxes, it's our fault.

    June 4, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  17. DHVegas

    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."

    ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? This slimball just literally said that politicians shouldnt be "fair" but take the "political opportunity". There is something fundamentally wrong with the system if this is truly the opinion of our representatives. The guys got brass balls to make that comment, I';; give him that.

    June 4, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  18. doug

    talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Armey is as stupid as they come>

    June 4, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  19. Muri

    That's rich! Accuse the current administration of "slamming things down people's throat" and in virtually the same breath talk about "taking political advantage".

    Yup, pretty much.

    June 4, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  20. Dem

    Dick Armey = Party over country. Chris Christie = Country over party.

    June 4, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  21. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Should this traitor Armey be in jail?

    June 4, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  22. Sam

    Armey saying Christie's decision is "debilitating stupidty"...when his party has continued to foist the likes of McDonnel, Bachmann, West, and a slew of other brainless twits on us??

    Methinks Dick needs to look in the mirror a little.

    June 4, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  23. spthatcher

    DICK Armey is well named. He would be truly well-named if his middle name was sphincter.

    June 4, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  24. wetpaperbag3

    "...government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Too often do today's ELECTED politicians forget WHY they are there.

    I applaud Christie in what he has displayed lately. First, he opted to help the people who elected him as Governor during their time of greatest need. He chose helping and saving lives during and after Hurricane Sandy versus stumping for presidential campaign votes for a fellow Republican Mitt Romney. He put the lives and livelihoods of those who elected him over partisan politics. Then he threw those very same partisan politics out the window when he worked with President Obama on Federal aid logistical support. You know, doing what he was elected and paid to do.

    Now, when there is a vacant seat, he did the "right thing" by leaving it up to THE PEOPLE to decide who should have that seat long term instead of "keeping the party going" by filling someone HE or the GOP wanted.

    Jeez...the nerve of this guy. Actually being a servant OF the people, BY the people, FOR the people.

    June 4, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  25. bejee45

    Armey could care less about the people of New Jersey being allowed to vote, he just wants to play politics.

    June 4, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
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