(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 am repecting Christie more and more. The moderates are out there and we are looking.
What Gov. Christie did was a VERY refreshing thing to see in this world of partisan politics. His decision is right and just for the people of his state! The voter's should choose not the 'political bosses' of either party. I applaud him for his courage and right decision.
That was a predictable response, but I think it was the right decision.
Let the voters decide who should fill the seat........even if they are the mindless Dem socialists.
Being a die-hard Democrat, I can say that there is a possibility that I would vote Republican, if Christie runs. He is the only Repub. I have seen who can work across party lines to meet the needs of his people. Too bad he is almost the only Republican who can say this.
Armey could care less about the people in New Jersey exercising their right to elect a public official - he only cares about power.
"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.'
Yeah, except Chris Christi hasn't had any friends on the right since he had the unmitigated gall to say nice things about President Obama in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. With that being said, armey's "don't lose the friends you already have for the friends you're never going to get" remark is exactly what I would say to President Obama. Honestly, he's like the wonky kid who disses his wonky friends for telling him that he's never going to be accepted by a clique that wants nothing to do with him.
So, Chris Christie put being governor (the job he has) above being a political candidate. I believe that's called integrity, but it is, perhaps, a word Mr. Armey is not familiar with.
Armey was, is now and will continue to be a major obstacle for Republicans to regain any chance of becoming a national party. Independents and Democrats could easily re-elect Christie without any Republican support. New Jersey is a Blue state and he did the right thing by those voters.
Christie will do what he thinks is politically best for himself and Armey does the same. Neither gives a rat's derriere about the country.
Wait so democratic elections are a bad thing? What's wrong with letting the people he is supposed to be serving decide?
Dick Armey is an arrogant ass who most likely was looking in the mirror when he accused Christie of "debilitating stupidity". I did not vote for Christie the first time but he has earned my vote this time based on what he has done for New Jersey, ignoring the Republican political hacks that want him to make all decisions based on politics. He has proven himself to be a breath of fresh air in a sickening political climate. As an independent I have no problem supporting Christie. Keep up the good work Mr. Governor!
Chris Christie, the only non-tool republican in a shed otherwise filled with them.
Way to go Christie, like this guy more and more.
Coming from a guy who took over the tea party for corporate interest and drove it down to a single digit approval rating is calling Christie stupid. Teabagges use to be rational people until Armey took the over and turned them into extremist.
So according to Armey, the "correct" behavior is to always worry about politics (to get elected next time) at the expense of doing the right thing for your constituents from the election that got you into office. And politicians wonder why the electorate is cynical about politicians?
I find it refreshing that there is a politician AND a Republican that would not play the same disgusting political games that have apparently become the rule. Christie is giving the vote to the people where it belongs. BRAVO SIR!
Dick Armey has pockets filled with Koch brothers tea potty money. Chris Christie ignores the Guns Over people tea potty to do his job in Jersey.
I't's pretty obvious what's going on here. Christie's behavior shows he not a right wing nut, and is pretty fair minded. Armey is one of the worst of the worst, a loudmouthed extremist who thinks his extreme ideas are God's Truth and that fairness is indecent weakness. A fanatic himself, he can't comprehend the idea of fairness, and can only understand brutal, vicious power politics and fanatical diatribes.
More of a question than a comment...Let's here from the Democrats out there...Is there any chance that Christie's actions will earn him some votes among Democrats?
I'm sure that all republicans aren't close-minded, dogmatic, petty, racist, homophobic, political tyrants. This move by Christie goes a long way toward proving that. Not aligning himself with people like Armey and the Tea Bagger nut-jobs is a great move if he wants to run for POTUS!
Mr. Armey says a lot with the statement indicating that playing fair is stupid. Speaks to his character, or lack thereof, all the way.
I can't WAIT to hear Christie's response. I know it's gonna be good :)
@WWOD All I need to say is: how many Republicans has the president placed on his cabinet, and how many to non-cabinet positions ...and that is several. Four Republicans to his cabinet. Plus, let us look at the current mess the president has with George Bush's hold-over IRS appointees Douglas Schulman and Lois Lernier.
So Dick Armey admits Gov. Christie is "playing fair" here instead of being "a political opportunist".... and that's a BAD thing in his eyes? There you have it folks, lol!
The first rule of politics isn't do what's best for your constituents? In this case pick the best person for the job and not someone just because of their party affiliation?
Good grief this blatant partisanship is off putting. They don't even bother with being subtle now.