June 4th, 2013
04:24 PM ET
10 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. dsatow

    What Armey fails to recognize is that the vast majority of people are sick and tired of the political warfare from both parties and would rather vote on a candidate who is articulate and intelligent and speaks his own mind. This is what killed McCain's candidacy more than anything else as he towed the party line to gain more favor from his party.

    June 4, 2013 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  2. me

    actually, Gov Deval Patrick just did the same thing in Massachusetts when John Kerry resigned his seat. Appointed a caretaker senator who will keep the seat warm until the forthcoming special election. Patrick didn't hand pick a successor who would have the power of incumbency come election time.

    Dick Armey really does take after his first name

    June 4, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  3. jb1963

    Well said Mr Armey You just proved the point of how out of touch with common sense the republicans are At least Christie is letting the process run and leave it to the people to decide.

    June 4, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  4. blindbear

    We should try to turn Christie from a knuckle-dragger into a Democrat. Thanks for the help, Dick. You may just have accomplished one worthwhile thing in your political career after all.

    June 4, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  5. Ruby Plustwo

    I've got a lot more respect for Christie than I do for Armey!

    June 4, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  6. Bravo!!!

    Bravo to Christie!

    He's doing the right thing!

    June 4, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  7. PhillyGuy

    I'm a democrat from PA and I tell you what, Christie won me over awhile ago for being exactly who he is. I believe he understands that it's not politics when you allow the people you represent, to vote for who THEY want representing them.

    June 4, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  8. Stiv

    Christie lost me when he blew the dog whistle of climate change denial.

    June 4, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  9. pogue68

    If ya don't live in Jersey, and don't know our politics, then keep your mouth shut. Politics isn't a one size fits all kind of thing. You Teabaggers would be so lucky if he ran for national office. He'd drive the crazy right out of the GOP.

    June 4, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  10. TransitDave

    Somehow the term RINO seems to fit Christie, and not just for his weight..........

    June 4, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  11. jayluv

    As a Democrat, Christie time again proves to be the only Republican I would consider voting for by not always "doing business as usual"

    June 4, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  12. pchelp, Juneau, AK

    Oh, yeah-that's *just* who we want representing America-someone who's looking for personal advancement rather than what's best for this country. Christie might not gain the votes of Democrats with this move but he's very likely to gain the votes of fair-minded independents. You know, the majority of people who are sick & tired of politicians playing politics rather than doing their job? I don't always agree with Christie's policies but I can certainly see-and appreciate-that he's trying to do what's best for New Jersey whether it benefits himself or not.

    June 4, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  13. mindstorms

    Our founding fathers feared three things that could bring down our democracy.

    1. Extreme partisanship
    2. Gerrymandering
    3. The impact of money on the political process

    Well it looks like we have hit the trifecta in problems for a democracy.

    June 4, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  14. Patrish

    Well I'm a democrat that likes Christie. Would I vote for him? Depends on what he runs for and who runs against. I'm not in his state, so I guess it won't matter much.

    June 4, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  15. StopItFool

    "On his way to becoming a statesman"? No, on his way to becoming a Democrat – and he should. Only then will he get any votes for acting as their stooge.

    June 4, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  16. Jane

    That's right Dick, it's always about the process isn't it? It's never about governing. Could that possibly be why America is in the state it is?

    June 4, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  17. Liber8me

    So Christie is leaving it up to the people to decide who the next Senator is going to be. Sounds like Democracy at work and the American way. But of course to some Republicans, those are foreign concepts.

    June 4, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  18. JJ

    As opposed to what, the treasonous imbecilic stupidity of the GOP? LMAO! Christie should run as an independent and wipe out the GOP in NJ.

    June 4, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  19. VL

    Just because most politicians cheat does not mean that everyone has to do the same. I think Christie is doing the right thing to let PEOPLE decide who should take the empty seat. Everyone, GOP and DEM should learn from him.

    June 4, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  20. Stan

    Anybody that likes Bruce Springsteen can't be too bad.

    June 4, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  21. Bob

    Dick Armey (aptly named by the way) is what is wrong with politics today. He said: 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." Politicians are elected precisely to play fair and do what is best for the country-not the Party!

    June 4, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  22. neogeo

    I am a life long Democrat. Christie is the first Republican I have considered voting for. He is a sensible man. Dick Armey should learn something about statesmanship.

    June 4, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  23. chill

    Hacks like Armey don't appreciate things like fairness and democracy, but the people do. I'm a Democrat who couldn't stand Christie and I'm having more and more difficulty disliking the guy. I don't agree with him all that much, but the man has some integrity. Something Armey is not acquainted with at all.

    June 4, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  24. julia

    Who ISN'T the GOP hateful to anymore?

    The Republican party has morphed themselves into a disgusting stereotypical villain in recent years. And I used to be Republican for over 30 years until recently. No more of that trash.

    June 4, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  25. Nancy

    I give Governor Christie high points for statesmanship. Let the constituents decide who should represent them. Representative. Armey only personifies the callous, political and self-serving individual that runs for office for power and self aggrandizement, not to serve his or her constituents.

    June 4, 2013 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
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