June 4th, 2013
04:24 PM ET
1 year 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. Coinspinner

    I kinda agree with Dick Armey, as a liberal I could never go for Chris Christie. He was a Federal Prosecutor for cripes sake, they have the taint of the Drug War on them. Also, as someone who takes care of themselves I can't vote for a guy that needs rubber bands put around his stomach to stop eating.

    June 4, 2013 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  2. Camper1

    Dick Armey is what is wrong with our political system, protect the party, screw the people.

    June 4, 2013 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  3. Zach

    I don't think the governor was going after Democrat votes.... I think he was doing his job, serving the PEOPLE of NJ. Oddly enough, while moves like this probably won't win him democrat votes, it will probably make the vast majority of the people in this country who aren't a 100% D or R look at him and given him their consideration. I can't promise I'll vote for him because of this one act, but I'll certainly give his ideas a fair listen. May what he says he will stand for as president be as honorable as the way he acts as governor.

    When evil men think you have done wrong, chances are you've done right.

    June 4, 2013 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  4. Robert Warner

    What these TeaParty idiots don't understand is that we Democrats like politicians who do their job with their only consideration being to serve their constituents. I disagree with Christie on most things, but I respect him because he always does what he feels is the right thing.

    June 4, 2013 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  5. VistaPoint

    I begin to like Gov. Christie. I believe he is doing the right thing by calling for an election. If the people of NJ had elected a Republican Senator to represent them and then a Democratic Governor would have replaced him/her by a Democrat, it would have been wrong. As such, appointing a Republican would have been wrong for Gov. Christie to do. Calling on the people of NJ to elect their next Senator is the best option. That is how it works in democracies around the world. When an elected representative passes away or resigns, they call for a fresh election

    June 4, 2013 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  6. asm_ith

    One could certainly make the argument that Christie was serving the will of his state. They had elected a Democratic Senator in Lautenberg, and Christie is just giving the people of NJ the opportunity to choose Lautenberg's replacement. Dick Armey demonstrates that he is a political hack; he wants Christie to override the will of the people of the state and place politics first. Christie is showing courage and it would be nice if more politicians did.

    June 4, 2013 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  7. skytag

    "The first rule of politics is 'Don't lose the friends you already have for the friends you're never going to get.'"

    This is to clarify any misconceptions anyone may have that the first rule is to do what's best for your constituents.

    June 4, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  8. wxqz

    Christie notes 'debilitating stupidity' of failed GOP strategy over the past 5 years.

    Jindal agrees.

    June 4, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  9. Al Finkelstein

    Someone needs to remind Dick Armey this is New Jersey, not Texas. Independent voters rule this state as they do most of the country and Christie is playing to them. Too bad he didn't have the good sense to save the state some money and combine the general election with the special senate election.

    June 4, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  10. Quixote

    Christie is actually pretty much an oafish buffoon with incredibly jgood luck.

    However, dick armey is about as stupid a human being as ever drew breath, so.........his critique means less than nothing.

    June 4, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  11. sparky

    Christie's chances of being elected King of the Short Bus in the GOP primaries don't depend on him. They depend on how stupid his primary opponents will be, and that's likely to be plenty stupid.

    To the GOP base, Christie will probably look like the lesser of two evils compared to whoever runs against him in the primary.

    Of course, that pre-supposes that he *wants* to run. Maybe he just doesn't care.

    June 4, 2013 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  12. Lon King

    Mr. Armey's comment shows EXACTLY why our country is sooooo screwed now. That thinking says he only cares about his own status ......NOT the country. Gov. Christie is not only large...he has large cahonnes to do the right thing for ALL the people. He just jumped 100% in my book. Finally somebody that says..."This is the people's government...not just the politician's.....He is, in fact, telling both the far left and the far right to play ball with their classmates or GET OFF THE TEAM. Both thumbs up for him!

    June 4, 2013 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  13. Jennifer

    Because everyone commenting here is from New Jersey right?????

    June 4, 2013 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  14. Peter Metz

    When friends like the GOP, who needs enemies. Good move by Christie.

    June 4, 2013 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    jah
    So, what does Armey remember about filling Obama's Senate seat?

    June 4, 2013 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  16. littleourkie

    I am a " East Dallas, Yellow Dog Democrat" and I never thought I would have anything good to say about a Republican, But I do now. Even if a Republican wins the special election, Christie's action shows he is a statesman and puts the people of New Jersey first. Armey conversely, is your typical Tea Bag hack. If there were more Christies and less Armeys, the GOP might have a chance.

    June 4, 2013 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  17. Peter Metz

    With friends like the GOP, who needs enemies. Good move by Christie.

    June 4, 2013 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  18. jamesnyc

    Wow, Armey is dumb as a bag full of hammers if he thinks that is the right approach.

    June 4, 2013 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  19. john

    What if, just what if, a few politicians started to do the right thing in situations where they could have taken political advantage. Wow that would be cool wouldn't it...

    June 4, 2013 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  20. lw42603

    Christie may not get brownie points with Rep or Dems politicians but ciitizens already know he will work with Dems to get what the state of NJ needs to help victims of Sandy, which the GOP is already ticked off about. Now all citizens know Christie is a fair man. GOP treated Charlie Christ the same way after the oil spill in FL for workin' with Obama. They should be ashamed of themselves.

    June 4, 2013 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  21. SherrieGG

    Dick Armey calling anyone stupid ranks right up there with the Menendez Brothers complaining that Lizzie Borden wasn't very nice to her parents.

    June 4, 2013 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  22. Get over it.

    This is a stupid comment "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." I am a Democrat and actually like the guy. I would love for him to be a Dem. However, I would respect the Rep. party a lot more if they stood behind Christy. He's a good guy. A guy who is willing to work for the betterment of our country. He could help the image of the conservatives. I could even see myself voting Rep. if he ran. It would depend on who he was running against.

    June 4, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  23. lesliee

    Armey thinks that people actually getting to VOTE for who represents them is "debilitating stupidity." I say Armey should look in a mirror for even saying that.

    June 4, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  24. Searcher

    Dick Armey left the TEA PARTY, after claiming to be one of it's FOUNDERS. He also left with a MULTIMILLION DOLLAR DEAL. Dick is a HYPOCRITE, Christie is a MODERATE. I'll take Christie any day!

    June 4, 2013 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  25. ecobgreen

    Dick Armey's comment is amazingly partisan – in a world where we need people to rise above partisanship in order to work with everyone concerned – does not mean Christie has "sold out" or whatever partisans think. Dick Armey's comment is more a reflection of his own mind and personality – which sounds fairly demented. Thankfully the people who are in power and trying to turn the State and Country around don't have to pay attention to someone clearly not relevant to Republicans or Democrats that care about ALL the people they serve. Dick Armey is also wrong about Democrats NOT voting for Christie. People are desperate to elect people who are reasonable and sensible in their approach to problem solving. Let's hope more politicians pick up on what makes Christie so appealing to both Democrats and Republicans.

    June 4, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50