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. Ken

    Well said Mr Dick Armey,! you just proved the point of why american politics are so nasty. We should just call you "DICK".
    Does the will of the people count for anything these days,or is it party first, second and third, Thanks for showing us what your all about. For the record I would vote for Christie over you any day of the week

    June 4, 2013 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  2. Jon Brose

    I applaud Christie for doing the right thing. He is probably the only GOP member that I would even think about voting for.

    June 4, 2013 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  3. Edward

    Time for Governor Christie to come to Canada for his weight treatment. We can slim him down with our universal healthcare. He has a problem, he needs help. We can help him.

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

    Putting what is right and best for the people above politics... there may be hope yet! But I guess not for this guy Armey who just doesn't get it and is fighting yesterday's partisan/tea party war. Newsflash: the vast majority of people in BOTH parties would like to see repubs and dems work together, compromise, and LEAD, not just dick around and play politics. the zealots on both sides are just more vocal.

    June 4, 2013 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  5. SadOldRed

    Maybe Christie is the first of a new breed – a politician who wants to do the right thing, rather than a politician who doesn't give a hoot about the American people and just wants to play party politics. Does Armey not see the approval rating Congress has – everyone loathes them!

    June 4, 2013 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  6. navaJohn

    In response to WWOD (What would Obama do?)
    "Armey's comment are right on. Just ask yourserf "What would Obama do?"...."

    Obama has crossed the isle and appointed no less than *5* Republicans for his cabinet. One withdrew. He broke the record at 3.

    Still wondering what Obama would do???

    June 4, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  7. William Miller

    Christie decided to be fair. That's not a political position, nor is it a policy decision. It's an ethical decision. That Armey can't relate to that kind of decision says more about Armey (and most other Republicans, as well as most Democrats) than it does about Christie. Also, Armey might turn out to be wrong regarding Christie not being likely to win over Democrats. I'm a life-long Democrat, and Christie has largely won me over.

    June 4, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  8. MIke

    "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."

    We'll take note of this, and pull this quote out when he gets re-elected governor. Mark this.

    June 4, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  9. Wallster

    Why not just appoint the best person for the job (Democrat or Republican) instead of making the taxpayers fork out $20 million for a special election?

    June 4, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  10. Reuben

    Dick Army is everything that is wrong with our politics. Chris Christie is everything that is right with our politics. Army is basically saying doing what is moraly right is stupid.

    June 4, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    I am a dem and he is the only Republican i would vote for!

    June 4, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  12. Sean

    In all fairness, this is probably the best advertising Christy will get, for both Dems and disenfranchised republicans.

    June 4, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  13. JIm Zombro

    Dick Armey should reflect on his statement of "debilitating stupidity" in regards to his accusation that Gov. Christie is too friendly with Democrats. Maybe that statement better fits Armey and the rest of the conservative GOP, otherwise he and the GOP might still be the majority party.
    I'm in my 60's and I was a life long Republican – until George W. became president and essentially told Americans that it was his way or the highway. So, being neither a conservative nor a liberal, I chose the highway of sanity, like so many other moderates.

    June 4, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  14. It's not Dick's Army

    What does Armey have against the democratic process?

    June 4, 2013 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  15. Ryan

    I foresee Christie making a party switch in the future! He could easily be a moderate Democrat...He's making all the moves that are indicating this

    June 4, 2013 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  16. frankgrimes

    Dick Armey? That must've been a fun name to grow up with.

    June 4, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  17. Michele

    Let's see................ Christie, a Republican governor in a Blue state, has a high approval rating in that Blue State, most especially for working WITH President Obama in the wake of Sandy. Republicans in DC have the lowest ratings in history, have branded themselves forever as do-nothing, obstructionist, selfish "takers" who care for nothing and no one other than lining their own pockets and standing in the way of the elected President of the country in whatever way they can. I think the term "debilitating stupidity" can best be used to describe every Republican EXCEPT Governor Christie. What do you think Basil? Hmmmmm?

    June 4, 2013 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  18. Bertha59

    Christie did the right thing. Let the people decide. I have grown to admire him. I hope he at least leaves the Republican as an Independent.

    June 4, 2013 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  19. Darth Bullmoose

    ...said the feckless leader of an inconsequential Koch operation to the man who stands a real chance at the party's nomination in '16. Well played.

    June 4, 2013 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  20. JamesX

    It seems that treat others as how you wanted to be treated is dead to the GOP. So if Commie Terrorist Obama would do it – and it is wrong. That means we should do the same thing back – and that makes it right.

    June 4, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  21. Jack Hollis

    No intelligent conversation here, as usual.

    June 4, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  22. MightyMoo

    Christie did the right thing letting the people of New Jersey pick the man with the election rather then let a party with little interest in New Jersey pick.

    June 4, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  23. Pinewalker

    "are going to love him for being the guy who plays fair rather than takes the political opportunity he's crazy"....no but honest American voters will! I'm a Republican and this i ABSOLUTELY the RIGHT thing Christie should have done. Does it benefit Republicans no, but it is the fairest decision to the NJ voters who voted in a Democrat. Politicians are to be elected by and for the people not political gain or favor. i don't care if its a Democrat or Republica. Just PLEASE for the love of God do the right thing for once!

    June 4, 2013 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  24. Mike S

    This is the problem in politics. Christie does the right thing and is hammered for not doing the "political" thing

    June 4, 2013 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  25. Mike S

    This is the problem in politics. Christie does the right thing and is maligned for not doing the "political" thing

    June 4, 2013 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
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