(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.
Armey is an expert on debilitating stupidity.
Governor Christie did the right thing. He did what was best for the people of his state. What a fresh concept! Can you imagine what it would be like if all politicians started doing that? Oh the horror, lobbyists all over the country would be in unemployment lines! I do not agree with Christie on a lot of subjects, but you can't help but honor his straight forward style and well developed understanding of the difference between right and wrong.
I love how he throws in at the end that it's usually done by the left. Still playing politics, huh Dick?
Dick Armey and The Stupid Party are pathetic. They really are stupid. They threw their moderates under the bus just to appeal to the crazies and the racists. They will pay the price in 2014 and in 2016.
Since when is letting the voters decide who should represent them "stupid".
As a Democrat, I'd vote for Christie, because he does the right thing, or at least not the politically correct thing.
Well... Here's one liberal that would vote for a republican that displayed statemanship over a liberal that was an obstructionist.
And this D!ck has any credibility to talk about what's best for this country, why?!
Christie did the rignt thing. Let the people decide. Good for him. REPUBLICAN THE STUPID PARTY.
This guy is going to run wild over the GOP establishment and squash what little remains of the tea party.
Dick Armey, really? It's been a pleasant break since he's been gone. Perhaps he could do us a favor and crawl back under that rock.
Cheers to Christie. From what I can tell, he's doing everything right, and understands the difference between governing and campaigning.
i like this guy more all the time. instead of takeing the political rout and appointing someone, he choose freedom and the will of the people by setting a special election. i voted obama last election, but in the next one this guy is gaining points rapidly. he appears t be something we sorely need a leader.
Armey is precisely right... He's wasting 25 million dollars to avoid the Corey Booker effect in his own election, and avoiding appointing a republican to the spot. There is no democrat that wouldn't appoint a democrat if a republican died in office. But they play by different standards and you will never win them over playing fair or otherwise.
Maybe Christie is doing what he thinks is right because he thinks it is right. There is nothing that tells me the right thing is the smart thing. While it may not help Republicans it does make Christie look better to Independent and/or Undecided voters. Hmm, I wonder how that can help him win any election?
" 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."
This says everything I need to know about Dickhead Armey. This is the right thing to do.
Krispy Kreme's stomach surgery is messing him up. If he was healthy (and of sound mind), he would do as Dick Armey suggested. I think the doctors tied the loop too tight around his stomach. Bottom line Krispy – you have to be ruthless; there is no room for the "nice guy" in business or politics (or life for that matter). Krispy Kreme is naive if he thinks buttering up (there is a food analogy again – I apologize) the opposition will win him the presidential election, then he must be suffering from low blood sugar. The Dems will eat him alive in 2014.
I see this as an intelligent, relatively honorable decision from Christie. He knows perfectly well that New Jersey is a blue state, and that appointing a Republican to their Senate seat for a year and a half, particularly in place of a well-regarded Democrat, would not represent the will of the electorate.
This is entirely consistent with the game plan I see Christie following leading up to 2016. Simply put, he wants to be THE choice for Republicans who correctly see the party's current trend toward the far right as a disaster, and who want to appeal to a broader electorate. Christie isn't trying to get Democrats to love him, he's trying to get the moderates and independents to love him. This move is also aimed at solidifying his re-election later this year, which is key to his presidential hopes. He wants to be able to say in 2016, "I was able to get elected as a Republican in a solid blue state, implement commonsense conservative policy there, and then get RE-elected by a solid margin. I am clearly capable of appealing to a broad electorate and making things happen while still espousing clear (but not extreme) Republican values."
I may not agree with all of that, but in my mind it is potentially a winning message.
Being a die hard liberal, I have much respect for Christie. The rest of the GOP is pure evil. I mean, what does it say when a person representing your party is name Dick Armey? You just can't make that stuff up!
"Debilitating stupidity" more than adequately describes the Republiscum party past – present & future. The fact that Army does not and will never understand how or why another politician – especially a Republiscum – would do what's right is testimony to his pathetic "service" to his constituents and his country. God Bless Governor Christie now and in the future!
Armey... the reason why I vote democrat in Texas even though I am a registered republican..
Armey's line of thinking is exactly why our system never reaches even a fraction of its potential
It was a brilliant decision by Christie. Even if He is a Conservative, He doesn't come off as a Tea Party crazy but a middle of the road-er putting New Jersey before the political idiocy. If the GOP beats him up, He will look like a moderate Republican or Conservative Democrat with the ability to switch parties easily. I think he sees the writing on the wall that the GOP will not be a force in the next 2 or 3 election cycles and He would have a better chance running as a Conservative Democrat rather than a Moderate Republican for the Presidency in this devisive time in our Country. As a Democrat, I like him and I am sure he will moderate some policies with his continued political growth.
yea Dick go down the tubs with Ryan in 2016
Dick Armey is aptly named.