June 4th, 2013
04:24 PM ET
2 years 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. Blue

    Dick Armey, I remember when you were in the House. You have always been too far and crazy to the right. The House is a better place without you, you never did anything but run your big mouth.

    June 4, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  2. 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 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  3. jungonzales1

    What America needs is a politician like him who thinks of the peoples' wishes and no "same old politics". He let his constituents to decide who will represent them. A sign of a good public servant who thinks of his constituents. Why listen to partisan politics when the proper way to do it is to let the people decide for themselves? He could become a good president people can rely on because he wants to listen to the people. People like him is the kind of guy who could save the GOP.

    June 4, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  4. Steve S

    Gov. Christie understands what the word....INTEGRITY....means.
    Even if his GOP stable mates do NOT.

    June 4, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  5. greg

    Dick, it's called compromise. sheesh.. the likes of Armey disgust me to the bone and are why our country is deeply divided.

    June 4, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  6. littleourkie

    I am an "East Dallas, Yellow Dog Democrat" and I never thought that I would have anything good to say about a Republican, but Gov. Christie has changed that. Even if a Republican wins the special election, Christie has shown that he is a statesman and puts the will of the people of New Jersey first. Armey, conversely, shows he is just a Tea Party hack. If the GOP had more Christies and fewer Armeys, they might have a chance.

    June 4, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  7. cj

    While Armey is 100% correct about the way it is....it's not how it should be.

    I dont think this will change the way things are in DC but at least a tiny little thing was done right one time.

    June 4, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  8. Doc

    I wouldn't expect a dick to say anything else.

    June 4, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  9. Zane

    How dare Gov. Christie let the people decide something for themselves. Who does he think he is?

    June 4, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  10. Damon Bowman

    Here's where Armey's blind party loyalty shows. Christie has dominating approval numbers in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans at least 8 to 1. If he can get re-elected (which he is well on his way to doing) I think he has a much better handle on what to do than Armey at this point in his political career.

    June 4, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  11. HZ

    Republicans keep throwing the guy under the bus and disrespected NJ when they delayed voting for Sandy relief. What do they expect?

    June 4, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  12. Klaark

    Pretty much says it all about government. These people are past worthless and are in it for themselves, no one else.

    June 4, 2013 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  13. j

    Really why would they want the public to choose, that's just crazy.

    June 4, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  14. bob

    Christie is a democrat in a rino skin

    June 4, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  15. kcsandy

    If Armey is upset about Christie's decision, then obviously Christie is making the right decision. Christie is too conservative for me, but I do have about a million times more resect for him than I do for any other republican. He is the only republican with any ethics at all. I agree with DarqueSide – this is a badge of honor for Christie. Armey is a creep.

    June 4, 2013 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  16. Lon King

    For clarity......That's Dick with a capital "D"....Right?

    June 4, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  17. Lizzy10

    Hey, NJ voter here, Independent. I've voted statistically for more Democrats then Republican's, but I'd vote for Christie because of 2 things. Willingness to say thanks to a Democratic President for doing his job, and and for allowing the voters in his state to decide who they want to represent them.

    June 4, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  18. deejer

    The one with debilitating stupidity. He and Newt and Delay are the ones who created the uber-partisan atmosphere that we still suffer for today. So when someone like Christie comes along and tries to do the right thing, regardless of partisan considerations, Armey dumps on him. How in the Hell can we ever break the partisan, do-nothing deadlock in Washington unless someone is brave enough to step up and do the right thing?

    June 4, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  19. crossroad65

    Some people may not realized it yet but he is the kind of guy who could save the GOP. His appeal to the people and Democrats is very promising. He wants to listen to the people and wants the people to decide in choosing somebody who will represent them. A sign of a good politician. Stupid? I don't think so – I think he is smart.

    June 4, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  20. kerberusII@aol.com

    apparently the fat boy wore out his welcome with republicans and became just another jersey (read: corrupt, rotten, mafia, etc) politician which brings him much kudos in his home state.

    June 4, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  21. vonstemper

    The Tea Party is the worst thing that's happened to the GOP. I'm glad that Gov. Christie is sticking by his convictions rather than bending to the party. Why? Because people like Dick Armey put the party first and the nation second. Dick Armey isn't alone – Republicans and Democrats both make the same mistake. But in my experience, Christie has really done a good job of being himself, rather than a pawn of his political party.

    I would vote for Christie if he runs for President, but I doubt that will ever happen so long as the Tea Party continues to have influence on the GOP. In order to win the primary, Christie will need to capture Tea Party votes by appealing to their extremist social policies, and if he does so to win the primary, there will be no way the rest of America will vote for him.

    June 4, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  22. fletc3her

    The Republicans making an enemy of Christie by playing politics with disaster funding might not have been the best move.

    June 4, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  23. george marple

    As far as debilitating stupidity goes, among Republicans running for office it appears to be a positive boon.

    June 4, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  24. solardiva

    It is refreshing to see a politician to the right thing rather than being a self serving, appease the party pinhead. Maybe it is not brilliant in terms of long term political career, because politics seems to be a realm where self serving, myopic idiocy rules, but maybe Christie doesn't care about that. His decision doesn't surprise me. He is consistent in doing what he thinks is right rather than what his party wants him to do. What Armey or others would do is irrelevant.

    June 4, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    I support Christie's decision. He walks on water as far as I am concerned.

    June 4, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
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