(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.
Christie is one of the very few Republicans I'd even consider voting for. Apparently he's smart enough to know that most of the members of his party ARE MORONS.
Lol, Christie made everybody mad! He's doing something right then!
Gov. Christie is THE BEST!!
The only decision Christie has to do is what is best for the state of New Jersey. He must appoint the best candidate regardless of party. Sounds to me like that is exactyl what he is doing and good for him for it. It will make him stronger in 2016
hey snyder in michigan called for a special election when my state senator took another elected job. didn't matter who won – the state senate is still ruled by the GOP – even if the winner in the election is democrat. cost a whole lot of money – but snyder doesn't care. could have been held in august with other elections instead of a special one in may. politicians sure like spending taxpayer money. 1000's of dollars were spent on the election – money that certainly could have been put to better use.
It is a travesty that any ellected official would call allowing the citizens of the US to vote on their own ellected officials "debilitating stupidity."
We need to get rid of Democrat and Republican designations....We're all Americans. Let the best man or woman get the job based on their qualifications, not their party designation. It's like voting for someone because they're black or female ONLY because they're black or female.
When you are surrounded by the enemy, you must keep them closer than your friends and that is the strategy that Christie is taking.
Dick Armey is the usual, Republican catering to Republicans and not the constituents they are supposedly representing. This "Party First!" attitude is gonna cost them dearly..good riddance!!
Governor Christie has gained more respect from me. He shows how a leader should act .. to do what the people he represents, wants, or needs, as the case may be. He's a good, honest thinker, action taker, and I hope to goodness he stays that way. We don't have enough men like him .. or like our President Obama.
I have tried hard to dislike Chris Christie, but it's getting harder and harder. He's actually doing the right thing.
And, if Dick Armey is upset then something is going right! And, I AM A REPUBLICAN!!!!
I think Dick Armey is the one suffering from debilitating stupidity. Wouldn't ANYONE prefer "the guy who plays fair rather than takes the political opportunity" ?? Nimnul.
wow, they even eat one of their own- this is funnier than watching the discovery channel. Now all we need is a dude dressed like crocodile dundee poking them with sticks and I think we have a right good television show
I think Dick Armey is the one suffering from debilitating stupidity. I'm pretty sure that any sane person would prefer "the guy who plays fair rather than takes the political opportunity." I know I would.
This is what is wrong with Repugs... Win at all cost regardless of what the people want. How can they fill their pockets first. If all else fails, blame it on the President.
Being a independent and not caring about political affiliation. A politician is a publicly elected official that was put there because THE PEOPLE of that state said that they wanted a democrat there. Mr. Christie showed what a true elected official that was put there BY THE PEOPLE and works FOR THE PEOPLE should do when THE PEOPLE VOICE their opinion. That shows that he is truely listening to who he should be listening to and not some schmucks that he no relevance in what happens in that state except getting that big R put behind as many people as possible.
Armey's attitude is everything that is wrong with the Republican party. As an American, the FIRST RULE for my government is that the people elected to serve are fair and that they do the very best they can to serve their country's best interests, not their party's. I'm a democratic socialist, I am very liberal, and I have in the past and will continue to applaud Christie's decisions because they have proven him to be someone who is focused on what's right instead of what's best for his career.
I will agree with Armey on one count: It is only debilitating stupidity that drives ANY politician to want to be or remain in the Republican party at this point. Chris Christie may not be perfect, but he does tend not to let GOP idiocy stand in his way. I have immense respect for that. I dont agree with him on everything, but he is one of the very, very few (and dwindling) current Republicans I would vote for.
I typically side with the democratic party on most issues but I appreciate someone from either side of the aisle that plays fair and attempts to do the right thing – not the thing his party wants him to do. I have gained much respect for Mr. Christie in his actions after the hurricanes ravaged his state and this action – allowing an election to determine who represents the people – furthers my opinion that he is a Republican that is in office to lead fairly...at least by the standards of today.
The idea that allowing the voters to select their own representative is somehow "debilitating stupidity" shows just how out of touch many of our elected officials are.
Debilitating stupidity is when a Republican candidate for the Senate says "Rape", the woman's body has a way of shutting that down".
Christie is currently the only Republican who stands a chance of winning this independent's vote in 2016. In fact, right now I'm leaning strongly towards him if he runs. Seems that many politicians have forgotten the value of reason, decorum, and civility. Used to be you could disagree with your friends. Nowadays, anyone who disagrees is your enemy. What a sad, childish state we live in.
I am a far left democrat, but Christie is on a short list of republicans I would vote for over a liberal democrat. Not because I agree with everything he says, but because he doesn't seem like a LIAR. What we need more of in government is people who aren't completely full of you-know-what. I don't care anymore what party they're from.
Wow, can you talk about partisanship? I would instantly vote Armey out of office. He's not about doing the right thing for the country, he's only about supporting his own party. If Christie ran, I'd switch to voting red for the Presidential election. Good for you Christie. Doing what's right, even if it's not the benefit of your party. Wish we had more politicians like that.
"You should have blocked them because they'd do it to us!" What are we, 7 years old on the playground?
I love how the repukeicans get their underwear all bunched up with Gov. Christie, a true Republican in the original sense of the word.
Really? Flipping the D to an R a month before he's trying to get reelected is a good idea in the Northeast? Alienate the voters and make it seem like you're taking advantage of the Gov power. Great plan.
I democratic gov in Texas flipping an R to a D would really fair well, too I'm sure...
By his own unapologetic words, Armey just proved why politicians are universally despised. Dick... how appropriate.