June 4th, 2013
04:24 PM ET
2 years 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. Frank

    The national republican party is not going to back Governor Christe in the presidential election anyway – if he wants to win the election he'll have to reach out to Democrats – if he has any chance of beating Hilary Clinton he should run as an independent

    June 5, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  2. Whatever

    Keep up the good work Dick Armey. With more comments like that we'll finally be able to be able to vote the rest of the republicans out of office come 2014.

    June 5, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  3. Kelcy

    He`s pissed off his fellow republicans so he must be doing this right.

    June 5, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  4. california99

    Christy has earned my respect! He chooses the welfare of the people above the 'party' and that is how it should be! both Republicans and Democrats should learn from him!!!!! especially the so call 'Tea party'. HE PUTS COUNTRY FIRST (people), PARTY SECOND!

    June 5, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  5. al

    Typical of a republican to try and stack the deck. They have truly become a party who put party politics and power over the country and its people. Anymore republicans stink.

    June 5, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  6. BillyD

    Dick Armey is the type of politician we could really do without. Governor Christie seems to have made a very honest and fair decision.

    June 5, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  7. Hamburger Jones

    'Don't lose the friends you already have for the friends you're never going to get.' I guess he means "Stick with the Democrats because your own Party has dropped you."

    June 5, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  8. Otonoh

    I applaud Christie, He realizes when we stop playing our bipartisan games we can actually get things accomplished

    June 5, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  9. vasechek

    bull. he has an obligation to serve the best interests of his constituents and if that doesn't coincide 100% with the best interests of some suit in dc – tough luck, big man. why are politicians so pessimistic about votes? afraid to let "the sheeple" decide anything? and playing fair = debilitating stupidity, now? maybe in your world... which also tells me all i need to know about your world...

    June 5, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  10. Scott

    Here is what I get form this story:

    GOP fanatic believes that the Govenor was stupid because instead of playing politics and shoring up the GOP said Govenor decided to let the people he represents make the decision.

    Said GOP fanatic needs to remember that he is there to serve the PEOPLE and not his PARTY.

    Love him or hate him, Christie clearly is more interested in doing well by his state than any polticial concern. To me that is what a politician is supposed to be.

    We need more of that and not this dehabilitating partaisanship that gridlocks Washington.

    June 5, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  11. tiger

    I am a republican and Army just proved he is garbage. His view is what nobody can stand about our government. The fact that he is so ignorant is astounding. Dems are upset with Christie and Repubs are upset with Christie, Congress approval is at an all time low and they can't see why everyone loves Christie. He doesn't play their game. Give'm Hell!

    June 5, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  12. John

    Christie will be President some day if the mainstream Republicans are smart enough to let him have the nomination.

    June 5, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  13. Martin

    Funny, that phrase "debilitating stupidity" describes pretty much everything the GOP has done for years. Its quite ironicly comical that Armey described him that way.

    June 5, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  14. cvg22

    Bravo Chris Christie...wish more elected officials bucked the power brokers and did what the people elected them to do...REPRESENT THEIR INTERESTS and PROTECT THEIR RIGHTS. It is the governor's call..NOT the Tea Party's...NOT the GOP...Not the DEMS. GOP best get a decent candidate prepped and ready to go to the people!

    June 5, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  15. John

    Mr. Christie recognizes that this is still a republic. I commend him for his thoughtful consideration of the fact that our politicians derive their positions at the will of, and to serve the people of this country, ALL the people of this country. The 2014 elections need to send that message to all those running for office.

    June 5, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  16. J Bez

    We'd be a lot better off if the first rule of polotics was to serve the people....

    June 5, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  17. edward forrest

    "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 is the guy (Christie) we need as president. I hope he runs in 2016. HE WON MY VOTE!!!

    June 5, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  18. Alyx

    So play politics instead of give the power to the people to decide. Yeah, who are you working for again? Props to Christie, he's one of the very few republicans I'd ever vote for.

    June 5, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  19. James

    Gov. Christie is one of the few politicians with national exposure acting like a leader while Armey represents everything wrong with American politics today. If the Republicans want to save themselves as a viable party they need to move towards the governor and away from ultra conservative hacks like Armey.

    June 5, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  20. rob

    What Mr. Armey has advocated is EXACTLY why the system is broken...what I wouldn't give to watch EVERY INCUMBENT swept out of Congress...followed by a pest exterminator...and an election of another batch with a warning: If you don't do what WE need and want...you're out too...

    June 5, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  21. Bill

    Good for you, Governor Christie. Dick Armey is the one with DS. He's calling Christie names because Christie is "playing fair"? Even if he thinks that, why would Armey come out and say that in public? Seems like he's trying to alienate Christie from the Republican Party. That says something about Armey's perception of the Republican mind set. And he's in a position to know this. If he's right, it's a sad commentary, but not surprising. By all means, put the party ahead of what's fair and right.

    June 5, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  22. Brad

    Do these guys realize the games they play just don't affect politics, but it affects us, the people, they are literally playing games with our lives, we need to get these Armey Type of con artists out of Washington!

    June 5, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  23. Andrew

    This is a perfect example of someone putting their party above their country. I applaud Christie.

    June 5, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  24. 6797777

    You need to give a lot of respect to a politician that will let the people decide. Party politics is crippling this nation .

    June 5, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  25. Justin Icart

    You see Republicans. This is why you lose elections. With that statement, he just killed the Republican running in 2014 and the republican running in the special election all at one time.

    June 5, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
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