(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.
Seriously? Why do people vote in fools like Armey?
Christie is very, very fat and he'd be happier aa a Democrat
Dick Armey is the stupid one, didn't he have to resign from his seat. As a democrat the more I watch gov. Christie, the ore i'm beginning to like him. just because one is a republican, you don't always have to give in to the republicans. from what I seed gov. Christie is willing to reach out to get things done. for this, the republicans scold him. he is not a child, he can make his own decisions without the losers who are being nothing but obstructive and they not the president are the ones harming our country by not getting don what the American people want done; JOBS AND A JOB BILL.
You are so very wrong, Mr. Armey. You are losing touch with what WE THE PEOPLE want..... A politician who DOES PLAY FAIR, who does not just seize a political opportunity, but makes decisions based on what will benefit the greater good, not just his own agenda. YOUR debilitating stupidity is what we're all tired of, when will you get the message?
Well I am one Democrat that enjoys this man, and how he runs his state and politics. If he runs in 16 I will be one to support his campaign and Vote with my head and not because of any political commitment to the Democratic Party.
Chris Christie's moderate conservatism is the only remaining long-term hope for the GOP. Anyone who can't see that is debilitatingly stupid.
Yeah why leave it up to the people in these politically divided times?
I think Christie is great. I wish more in politics were like him.
Isn't this the pot calling the kettle black?
Dick Armey must be losing his mind. It was just 6 months a go that a Democratic Governor called for a special election to fill a seat that a Democrat vacated in Illinois. What Christy did was the right thing to do and only polictal hacks that like the gamesmanship do what Armey suggests. Hats off to Gov Christy.
They just can't stand it when anyone stands on their own two feet. Ducks in a row or they aren't happy campers.
For republicans, giving the electorate a voice is stupidity. To me, modern republicans are disgusting, repugnant, power-mad, largely uneducated trash. The more Dick Armey and like-minded trash talk, the better chance that republicans will continue to lose elections.
Are all Republicans anti-American? DIck Armey should move to North Korea, along with most Republicans.
Apparently, the American values of Democracy, the right to freedom of representation, the right to vote, are NOT values of the Republican party.
If Republicans inhabited Boston in 1776, they would have joined the British side.
Sad, but all true.
He does what he thinks is right. Not a yes man for the GOP. He will get demo rates to vote for him as I will put him at the top of my list for president if he runs. Glad to see him being one of the few independent thinkers. Too bad they will try to put him through he'll like they did Hagel for doing the right thing and standing up for what is right and not along a party line.
As time passes it's very difficult to relate to GOP, it seems that it's been taken over by extremist inside the party. While Reasonable Reps like Christie will eventually run off from the party. As much as I like the Dems, there should be a reasonable alternative project of a nation. No more obstructionism, but a constructive national debate.
He's letting the people decide, and Armey is upset? I think that speaks for itself.
Ah, the kindler gentler republican party. Hey, we will gladly take Christie. I don't always agree with him or his stances on issues, but then again, that is the great thing about being a Democrat... we don't always agree and we don't always march in the same manner. The republicans on the other hand goose step along in synche and will all go over the cliff together patting each other on the back, but doom to the party member that doesn't follow the ring in his nose.
Don't believe me... your punishment, re-read the article.... point taken?
Armey is the epitome of what is wring in our government today. I am well right of center, but I can't relate to his criticism of Christie in any way.
If Dick Armey and the TP are against it, then it must be a good idea!
Don't forget that Armey is the one who started the teabaggers with other peoples money. Remember all those moronic candidates they put up for elections.
Sadly, this is just another example of why a moderate from either party will never have a chance any more. If you don't toe the extreme party line (and I'm talking both parties-this example just happens to be Republican), you get killed by your own leaders. Until we say "No more", we'll keep getting the same results....
GOP calling Christie names means he's doing something right! Go Gov. Christie! And I'm a staunch democrat!
It's sad that Armey never considered what the people of New Jersey would have wanted. They want someone to represent them, not a political party. Christie understood that. Too bad Armey (and many others) see the role of elected official as being a "friends collector." Keep the friends you have rather than trying to get friends you'll never have??? Christie was not elected to make GOP friends. He was elected to represent the people of New Jersey. Armey could learn something from him.
Christie's not guilty of "debilitating stupidity". But Dick Armey is definitely guilty of "debilitating arrogance". Anyone whose name conjures up images of marching penises deserves no respect or credibility.
Well, considering that the previous Senator was a Democrat, that would make a lot of sense.