June 4th, 2013
04:24 PM ET
1 year 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. Mike from CO

    "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."

    We're not going to love him, but we're certainly not going to hate him for this decision. Like it or not, the people of New Jersey voted to have a Democrat represent them for six years in the US Senate. Their voice is better represented by filling the vacancy with a special election (which will probably be won by a Democrat and have tons more sway with the Majority than some 18 month placeholder will have with the Minority, especially if they know it will be pointless trying to keep them in that seat).

    And let's not forget – Christie, as popular as he is, only won with 48% of the vote against a terribly weak/corrupt opponent in an overwhelming Democratic state. Doing what he did keeps Democrats there complacent and less than willing to suit up an defeat him in November.

    June 5, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. Hamburger Jones

    Just a thought: you GOPs ever wonder why, if "liberalism" means what you think it means, so many people believe in it? Ever wonder if you've been lied to, and maybe the Democrats aren't all evil demons out to steal your guns? Because we are feeling really sorry for you slaves, and we hate to see you quivering under Limbaugh's lash to build Dubya's pyramid. Maybe you ought to actually find out what other people think? But you've been ordered not to, so never mind.

    June 5, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  3. Jack Davis

    He's related to George Bush.

    June 5, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. sambell1

    armey is definitely the poster boy for debilitating stupidity!

    June 5, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. Bluesky001

    What ever happened to assigning the best qualified person for the job, regardless of party. OH NO we can't do that. That's what's wrong with everything in Government.

    June 5, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  6. Jeff

    So what I hear is, Dick Armey is no better than any other Democrat. Way to step up and not be petty Armey! It's your type of thinking that is keeping Republicans out of the White House

    June 5, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  7. Jon

    "... 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." He doesn't think Democrats are going to love him. He thinks the people of New Jersey will love him, the less partisan people in the middle. Not only was Christie's move the right one, it was the politically smart one. Dick Army, on the other hand, by opening his mouth, said something which is both wrong and would have been politically dumb were he not retired, because its the moderates who determine elections.

    June 5, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. Jeff

    To Hamburger Jones: You liberal Democrats are all the same. You claim to be nice and open minded, yet you don't listen to anyone's point of view unless it aligns with your own. You're no different than the Limbaugh lemmings you complain about.

    June 5, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. Paul Hogue

    This advice for Christie comes from such a tower of political ethics that his own organization paid millions for him to go away and not come back.

    June 5, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. TH

    This is exactly why President Washington was afraid of the formation of the party system during his days. Who are they loyal to? The country or their party?

    June 5, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  11. Mateo

    Although I'm an independent, I'd take Christie over this Armey yo-yo any day!

    June 5, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  12. Jim Hahn

    Armey is an idiot. Has proven that repeatedly. If he doesn't like what you are doing, you obviously made a good decision.

    June 5, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. kungfumastah

    LOL! Armey, you are a dbag. Assuming that taking political advantage is better than extending an olive branch is exactly what's wrong with politics today, and what has pushed me to the left in the past few years. Refusing to even entertain the idea that the other side may have a point will lead to continued Republican losses by refusing to acknowledge the changing demographics of our country. I would much rather vote for a realist on the republican side than a take no prisoners, we're always right jackwagon. Keep it up, Christie.

    June 5, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. Mike,Albany

    "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."

    Interesting turn of phrase. But then, republicans are far more concerned with playing politics than acquiescing to the will of the people, and this basically proves it. Christie made the right decision. Let the citizens of New Jersey decide whom they want to represent them in Lautenberg's place.

    June 5, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  15. Dan5404

    Gun packin' Armey needs to keep his mouth shut so people will only THINK he's stupid.

    June 5, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  16. John

    lol...yep...damn you Christie!...wanting to let the people decide instead of republican bullies. Im a left of center democrat....but I'm really starting to like this guy.

    June 5, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. kungfumastah

    Good for Christie; standing up to the party. I have way more respect for that than some partisan hack who never wavers from their party dogma.

    June 5, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  18. Hamburger Jones

    " You claim to be nice and open minded," When did I ever claim that? Let me guess, you heard Limbaugh claiming I was that way. You fool. I'd make shoes out of your skin if you crossed me.

    June 5, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  19. Joe

    Armey is classic evidence of the truth that stupidity is forever. He is an embarrasment. Good decision Governor.

    June 5, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  20. cbp

    I cannot believe this is still a headline. Dick Armey should keep his remarks to himself. His record is not stellar and he has caused the REpublicans some major embarrassments. Chris Christie is the Governor and he will do what he believes is correct and within state law. It is not Dick Armey's place to decide what the Governor should or should not do. He does not live in New Jersey and that is a good thing for people who do.

    June 5, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  21. Madison

    armey is a collosal imbecile. Christie is an unusually lucky oafish buffoon, but armey is in the dictionary next to stupid, moron, and pathetic. They only needed his pitcure to cover all three.

    June 5, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. Ken

    "The first rule of politics is 'Don't lose the friends you already have for the friends you're never going to get." Shouldn't the first rule of politics be to do what those that elected you want you to do? No wonder the government is so screwed up.

    June 5, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  23. SB1790

    Dick Armey has a very appropriate first name. Kudos to Christie for trying to be fair about the whole situation.

    June 5, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. Madison

    Jeff....armey is a tea party republicon -in fact he was one of the creators of the tea party using Koch industry money. He is NOT a Democrat. Not in any way shape or form. He is too crazy ignorant even for most repubs.

    June 5, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  25. NickAnast

    Gee, and here I thought Armey was going to criticize Christie for wasting $24 million in taxpayer money on a special election that could be held on the regularly scheduled election day.

    June 5, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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