(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 would argue the exact opposite of Mr. Armey. Christie made a sound POLICY decision instead of a political one. He knew there would be a large, potentially judicially involved, backlash if he appointed a republican, so he set a fair, free election. I dont understand the angle of "currying favor with democrats." Hes Chris Christie, everyone already knows who he is and how he operates. No democrat is under any illusion that he is their buddy.
A puss pulsing polyp proselyting political perversion as panacea.
who cares what a nobody has to say when youre the governor?
"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."
God forbid a politician play fair! This guy represents everything wrorng with the Republican party.
The logical and fair thing to do is have an election. Christie is doing the right thing. Not the political norm. Lets try the right thing and see how that works out for a change.
This comment by Armey is debilitating stupidity
That's the right thing to do, ignore what the majority of the citizens of New Jersey would want! Yeah, that's Democracy in the new world!
What a bonehead! The people of New Jersey elected a Democrat and that's what they should have until they decide differently.
Armey, go suck an egg. The GOP had brushed Christy aside after he praised Obama during the Sandy crisis. Its the GOP that puts politics over everything else. Armey, has does it feel belonging to a dying party?
Really? Dick, you just summed up why the republicans cant connect to the people anymore. People are tired of politicians only opposing things instead of getting things done. Why question having a special election? Get the republican party a candidate worth voting for! Go back to the tea party and continue to see where that gets you Dick.
Actually, Christie has been winning new friends by playing fair for a while now. Dick Armey isn't talking about voters, though, he's talking about partisan career politicians. In that, he's probably right. Sad that a politician like Christie can alienate himself by acting to the ideal rather than the typical.
That is stupid! How could he do what the citizens of his state would want him to do when he could follow the lock step of PARTY OVER COUNTRY!
His name fits him well.
Well now Christie knows he made the right decision! Thanks Dick!
Armey, find something important to do.. The GOP had brushed Christy aside after he praised Obama during the Sandy crisis. Its the GOP that puts politics over everything else. Armey, has does it feel belonging to a dying party?
Or he lets the people decide in democratic fashion who should represent them. Appointing a republican for the sake of appointing a republican is a political move. His goal is to represent the people to the best of his ability, and by making a special election, the people can appoint who they would like rather than him appointing a political ally for himself.
I don't think he should appoint a REPUBLICAN to replace a DEMOCRAT!! How is that right, Dick Armey you nut case.
there you go, armey says screw whats best for NJ, play politics. Thats why you are where you are dickey
How much do I LOVE Chris Christie- let me count the ways and I am a DEMOCRAT!!!!! Armey is debilitatingly stupid. CC is the smart and shrewd governor of NJ.
That's right, how dare he be "fair". That is just stupid. Debilitating stupid. I mean come on, of course he should ignore the peoples wishes and put in an unelected Republican representative until 2014 because that's just politics man. Duh.
Dick Armey leads the Tea Party and he has the nerve to accuse others of stupidity. Well, he isn't called Dick for nothing.
Good grief...this Armey guy is still around?? Hey Armey....on his WORST day, Governor Christie is twice the leader you ever were. Stick to your tea bag town hall meetings. In case you havent heard, this Nation does not belong to you or your buddy Tom Delay any longer.
Yep, the right decision is to be an opportunist and ignore the fact that your state hasn't elected a Republican senator in 30 years. Christie did the right thing. Call the special election so the people of the state can choose their own senator. Of course Armey would be against it.
See that where you Republican are wrong and most likely will never win the to be President. The Only Republican that I would vote to be President right now Is Chris Christie ,because of the way he been honest and what he say that he should care more for the people In his State ,than Politics.
This will probably come as news to the GOP, but the world is not made up exclusively of Republicans and Democrats - there are Independets as well. Those are freinds that Christie can make, but not by naming some knucklle dragging bozo that Dick Armey would approve of.
This is the kind of compromise that one needs to make in order to be a Republican governor in a Democratic state. Since the GOP does not know how or when to compromise, I would expect the move to be lost on most of the GOP establishment.