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. eww

    I have to give Gov Christie a nod here. The Senate seat in New Jersey was elected by the people, for the people of the State of New Jersey....so let them elect the new senator. Politically it would have been a disgrace to many having him appoint either a Democrat or Republican to fill the Lautenberg's senate seat. If he appointed a democrat, the republican basein the state would abandon him, if he appointed a republican his democratic base would abandon him. Both bases he needs to win his own seat again. Nationally had Christie appointed a democrat, the republicans would kill whatever chance he has at running for national office himself, the democrats would push for him to switch parties. Had he appointed a republican, the republican would still be lukewarm to him and the democrats would scream foul. It's the people's seat to elect who they want. And Christie will be admired for that decision. He respects the law, the poltics be damned.

    June 4, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  2. fibsernum

    Dick Armey's dictionary defines doing the honest and responsible thing, instead of pushing your political agenda, as "debilitating stupidity." My definition of an oxymoron would be "Dick Armey's ethical principles."
    Maybe moronic ox is more accurate.

    June 4, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  3. mkaipo

    "All Christie has to do is appoint a Republican. That's the correct move for him to make," Armey said.

    The voters of New Jersey previously elected a Democrat for the now vacant seat. I would say that, really, it's Mr. Armey who's showing his overwhelming stupidity with his remarks. It's taken real guts for Governor Christie to act on behalf of his constituents and work with both parties to make New Jersey a better state.

    June 4, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  4. Herman

    Without question, this man is the most intelligent republican. I'm a devout democrat, but I have to admit that I'd be as tempted to vote for Christie, as any democrat running. This mans impressive.

    June 4, 2013 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  5. libtard

    Thank you for being a true patriot and actually caring about the peoples choice and this doesn't come down to dem vs repub, its called having morals and doing the right thing, hope it rubs off on the rest of the horrible elected officials and I vote democrat/progressive because I actually care about other people..

    June 4, 2013 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  6. BillInLA

    "Debvilitating stupidity." And that was a Tea Bagger accusing someone else?

    June 4, 2013 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  7. 4realincali

    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 Independent will take fair over political opportunity any day. A refreshing political manuver

    June 4, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  8. YeahRight

    Christie works for the People of New Jersey, not for Republicans, and not for Democrats.

    He absolutely made the right choice in letting the People decide who to replace the late Sen. Lautenberg.

    June 4, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  9. Pokelane

    I live in Wyoming. A couple of years ago we had a Democratic Governor (I know its hard to believe) and he actually chose a Republican Senator to replace a senator who died. So no Mr. "Dick" Armey a Democratic Governor would not just pick a Democrat to a replacement. What an idiot . I am a democrat and the way Christie has responded to the hurricane and his nonpartisan approach to getting something done has me believing I could actually vote for this Guy.

    June 4, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  10. Megla

    Dick who? ;-)

    June 4, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  11. nostrildamus

    Armey proving again that George Washington was right about political parties.

    June 4, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  12. GOPSux

    Quit whining, you filthy Repukes, you're all on your way out!

    June 4, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  13. Wow

    This comment comes from a guy that is so strong a Republican he cost the GOP the last election. His Tea Party faction divided the party. Christie has more brains in his little finger and yes he uses it.

    June 4, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  14. opinion8it

    "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."....Dick Armey

    Really? Did you really say that? These republicans have gone totally mad.

    June 4, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  15. libfreak48

    Armey lecturing anyone on anything is hilarious.

    June 4, 2013 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  16. Tricia McMillan

    "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."

    So does this sum up the Republican mantra: take political opportunities wherever you can, whether it involves playing fair or not?

    June 4, 2013 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  17. nc1965

    NBC News Headline: "First Thoughts: What Chris Christie is thinking"

    What is the "Hindenburg" thinking.

    My big mouth. How can I pull this off without offending core voting blocks.

    My girth. How can I pull it off being President with the image of America being 40% obese?

    My underwear: What if my belt pops lose causing my pants to fall below my girth, revealing my underwear that looks like I'm wearing a thong? I swear. It's not a thong!

    June 4, 2013 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  18. LukeM

    Perhaps Mr. Armey could profitably have coffee with his fellow Republican and demonstrate whether he has the intellectual heft to listen in addition to prattle. My core convictions are independent, but we as Americans are tiring of belligerant partisanship.

    June 4, 2013 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  19. SDRich

    The best part of the interview isn't included in this article. It occurred when Armey said Democrats hate Republicans and will do anything to block them from doing anything. Whathe...!?!?!?!?!? Pot say hello to kettle.

    June 4, 2013 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  20. Oleg

    Debilitating stupidity is republicans putting down any candidates that stand a chance in general elections. Democrats don't nominate Michael Moore and Bill Maher do they? If this guy keeps doing the right things I will certainly at least give him a good look in 2016.

    June 4, 2013 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  21. at least....

    At least he didn't do what everyone else expected.

    June 4, 2013 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  22. mrglobal

    Dick Armey has just admitted he does not care to do the right thing.Worrying about the opponent doing the same wrong to you and therefore doing the same wrong is backwards thinking, No wonder the GOP is in trouble with "leaders" like that.

    June 4, 2013 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  23. Indie Paul

    Good for the Gov. The guy has a spine to stand up and do what he think is the right thing. The rest of DC should look at this and say maybe he (the Gov) is right. Also this is a one year deal and it does not swing the power structure in DC. Dick Armey should take some lessons on politics and appreciate the job that Chriistie has done. Maybe just maybe this is a start of all the bickering going on in our nations capital.

    June 4, 2013 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  24. Dan

    Good move for his state and smart move for him.What is stupid about that?It's the rest of the Republican party that is STUPID.

    June 4, 2013 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  25. jon

    Dick Armey should be bounced out in the next election.

    June 4, 2013 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
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