June 4th, 2013
04:24 PM ET
11 months 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. Anonymous

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

    Me: The second rule of politics is "Don't pander to a demographic that can't win you an election". The teaparty demographic can't win Christie his reelection next year or give Christie a shot at the Presidency in 2016. Christie is much better off focusing on the independents and moderates.

    June 4, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  2. Hannah01

    Who really cares what Dick Armey thinks any more anyway? Actually, did anyone EVER care?
    E

    June 4, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  3. taffylinden

    Dick Army is a bona fide Tea Partier who's made this sort of bone-headed gaffe before. Anyone who heads up the ultra-extremeist Tea Party org "FreedomWorks" and then accepts 8 million to step down is a loser in my book. Mr. Christie is just the kind of politician this country needs–someone who puts patriotism above party'

    June 4, 2013 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  4. nothing new here

    Really Mr. Armey, do you not have any respect for the taxpayers of this country? And this is coming from a man that is suppose to be for limited government and protecting the liberties of American citizens? Why shouldn't the voters/taxpayers have the opportunity to vote for the person they want to represent them?
    Poison politics is really destroying this country.

    June 4, 2013 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  5. xx4zu1

    It seems like he may be moving away from the Republicans like most of america.

    June 4, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  6. Tried&true

    Actually, I have voted Democratic last 3 elections and just might vote for Christie b/c he thinks differently than the stupid party

    June 4, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  7. Nodack

    Actually out of all Republicans, Christy has earned my respect more than any other. He has done "the right thing" on more than one occasion. Any other Republican would choose party above everything else no matter what.

    June 4, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  8. CMI

    The Fat Man is crazy like a Fox. This will expose and destroy Cory Booker.

    June 4, 2013 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  9. Shecky

    Chris Christie might as well BE a Democrat. He is kissing up to Obama and the Dems so much it's PATHETIC.

    June 4, 2013 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  10. xx4zu1

    Wow typical Republican response, allowing the people to chose their leaders is "Debilitating Stupidity" no wonder they are falling out of favor and will never control anything again. They just don't get it. Congrats Christie on doing the right thing.

    June 4, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  11. Chuk

    Dick Armey is the stupid one. Maybe Christie is the kind of politician America needs to rebuild the "middle" that has been destroyed since the emergence of tea party and all the other wing nuts.

    June 4, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  12. Geo

    This is the correct move for Christie to make. Members of Congress are to be elected, not appointed. Put it up for a vote and let the chips fall where they may.

    June 4, 2013 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  13. Nigel Chichester

    If any group knows about debilitating stupidity, it would be Republicans.

    June 4, 2013 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  14. Dawn

    Setting a special election was the right thing to do no matter what his politics.

    June 4, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  15. Scott

    At least at first glance, it would appear that Governor Christie has exhibited fairness, honor and integrity that gives all parties a chance to participate and have their votes counted.

    Meanwhile, Dick Armey represents the cronyism that has been stagnating and killing this country and the principles it was founded on.

    June 4, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  16. Homer

    Armey's right. The leftists will NEVER vote for Christie and no one should be surprised about that..........BUT, the centrists will........and that's what it'll take to to get elected. If a politician can show people that he's honest and honorable many will vote for him even if they don't always agree with him.

    June 4, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  17. GOP = Greed Over People

    If Armey is whining, that means Christie put the "country first", to Armey and crew, it only an empty election slogan!

    June 4, 2013 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  18. common sense not so common

    So if I am reading this correctly Armey just said that Christie plays fair rather than political and he makes this out to be a bad thing!/? This is what is wrong with politics...more often done by Republicans but frequently by the left.

    June 4, 2013 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  19. Jack

    Governor Christy did the right thing! If the Republicans ever what to become a party of vision again, they need jettison people like Armey and hisTea Party friends. This independent won't vote for them!

    June 4, 2013 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  20. Vince

    Armey is one of the reasons the Republicans are going down.

    June 4, 2013 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  21. jimmy

    Christie is a typical politician. Trying to play both ends against the middle.Wets his finger sticks it up in the air to see which way the wind is blowing today. If you don't stand for something big boy you will fall for anything.

    June 4, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    "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."
    ------------------------
    What on earth is Dick Armey talking about? These comments are bizarre on too many levels to count. Gov. Christie doesn't seem to have many friends in the hyper right wing, anyway. Armey's remarks make the appalling assumption that a politician should be biased and partisan towards a slice of the electorate. That's not what we need in elected officials, but apparently that's the standard that must be met in the right wing.

    June 4, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  23. Marty Smith

    Chris Christie has proven himself as an American patriot. That means he cares for Americans, as opposed to only Republican Americans. Chris, if you are listening, you have my vote, and I am a Democrat. Keep the faith.

    June 4, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  24. pointlesson

    Dick Armey's opinon is limp. It is more flacid than his first name in an ice storm, incapable of producing a raging hard result. He has a headache when it comes to producing bountiful and positive ideas for his constituents. Dick's Armey can't produce. Not bonafied. Dick's plan is not erect. It droops and recedes back into the insignificant, unfruitful abyss of his "debilitatingly stupid" flagrantly, harmfully partisan belly. His courage has shriveled up and disappeared. He is now a marionette

    June 4, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  25. Jorge

    And this,friends, is sadly the image the republican party seems to want to etch on American's minds. You NEVER put fairness or your constituency before your party, party loyalty and your ability to winning elections is all that matters for a politician. I appreciate and respect Christie more and more, regardless of my disagreement with some of his views, I believe if there were more politicians like him (in both parties), governance would be something that could actually happen in Capitol Hill. People like Christie make me think that there is still hope.

    June 4, 2013 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
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