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. Jerry

    Democrats are too stupid to understand what his overall plan is for doing this.

    June 5, 2013 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  2. Brian

    Dick Armey appears to have a tenuous grasp of the English language, at best, so of course we should all trust this Texas congressman who hasn't been in politics for over 10 years' analysis of 2013 New Jersey electoral politics. Makes total sense.

    June 5, 2013 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  3. robonmv

    "A Democratic Governor would've seized the opportunity"? You mean like Duval Patrick in Mass where Markey is up against Gomez in a special election in a few weeks? Armey – what a tool.

    June 5, 2013 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  4. Independent

    There is a lot wrong with Politics these days and that is what House Majority Leader Dick Armey represents. Christie is letting the people decide, what a novel concept! Calling voting for a position wrong, who's the Socialist?

    June 5, 2013 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  5. Vader

    Armey's comments are exactly what is wrong with politics today. Party over country. Christie's decision to call for a special election is the correct one. Lautenberg was a Democrat, duly elected by the people of New Jersey. If the electorate wants a party switch in that seat, the electorate should decide, not the governor (or party hacks). Bravo Governor.

    June 5, 2013 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  6. S

    '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.' Huh? I, as a Democrat, would respect him a lot more if he were to play fair rather than do what his party wants him to do. I don't know much about Christie, but from what I've seen of him lately he doesn't seem like the majority of his party. He's different.

    June 5, 2013 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  7. Ken

    If he's suffering from "debilitating stupidity" then has become a full-fledged member of the Republican Party. Without "DS" there is no admission to the party.

    June 5, 2013 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  8. Craig

    Gotta love Armey. God forbid the people actually get to decide.

    June 5, 2013 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  9. Rosa

    Christy did the right thing for his state. If he were in Texas he would have done something different.

    June 5, 2013 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  10. Not too late

    At least he was not offering to sell the seat.

    June 5, 2013 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  11. Anonymous

    Chris Chistie is five times the man that Armey can ever dream to be.

    June 5, 2013 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  12. glen

    I applaud Christie for his ability to do the right thing. The people elected a democrat to that seat, to turn around and appoint a Republican just to tow the party line would be irresponsible and disingenuous. I consider myself a moderate and Christie is the only one so far the Republican party I can even stomach. The rest are so far out of touch it should be criminal. Christie, you moved me one step closer to your side with this classy move. Thank you!

    June 5, 2013 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  13. ronvan

    AMAZING! Christie wants, WE, the people, to decide, and now our "elected children" do not like it! And WE continue to re elect these misfits?

    June 5, 2013 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  14. Mark

    Is there no room for class in politics?

    June 5, 2013 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  15. Michael

    I'm all for letting the people choose who's going to "represent" them instead of going with an appointment. Armey is so full of himself anyway. I'm a devoted moderate and Christie has actually impressed me. Do what's good for the PEOPLE, not the PARTY.

    June 5, 2013 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  16. Jarsbait

    Good for Christie.

    June 5, 2013 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  17. TSRVT

    So doing the right and proper thing is 'debilitating stupidity'? I guess form a rightists POV, but we decent people think otherwise.

    Chris Christie may never get my vote, but he does have my respect.

    June 5, 2013 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  18. Stuart

    Amazing that Christie thinks his job is to work for the people of New Jersey, not the Tea Party....

    What we need in this country is more politicians like Christie and less like Armey.

    June 5, 2013 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  19. works4me

    That's right boys... For the Party... not about For the People anymore with the GOP. The heck with the people...

    June 5, 2013 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  20. Bobby

    Actually, It was the right decision, for the people of NJ....The "former" should be your first clue regarding Dick Armey..

    June 5, 2013 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  21. Wasnt Mee

    The Truth comes out. It's not about the voters and people. It's about your cronies, donors and the business of politics.

    June 5, 2013 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  22. tafugate

    when i saw 'debilitating stupidity' i immediately thought of congress.

    June 5, 2013 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  23. Alan

    Armey is what is wrong with politics

    June 5, 2013 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  24. julia

    No wonder the Republican party is dying.

    June 5, 2013 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  25. Concerned Citizen

    I am amazed at Dick Armey's quote, "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 DICK...you are saying that Christie is dumb for being fair to EVERYONE...by not taking the POLITICAL opportunity?

    Dick Armey I would say you are only in office for power...not true representation of the people.

    Who is dumb now?

    June 5, 2013 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
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