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. Bob

    I've always considered it sleazy politics for a governor of one party to appoint a senator from his/her party to replace a senator from the opposite party who had been chosen by the people. It strikes me as crass political opportunism which dismisses the will of the electorate in favor of partisan expediency. My respect for Christie as a man of integrity has increased because of this. My low regard for Dick Armey remains intact. He's a hack.

    June 5, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. Jason

    I appreciate Christie not making the blatantly partisan play, especially to appease the far right. That said, his chosen path demonstrates weakness. The strong choice would have been to do the special election this Nov, and not fear an increased democratic turnout. It would have been a confident move that showed no fear or partisan opportunism.

    June 5, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  3. Falcontypo88

    If the GOP was not so debilitationingly stupid themselves, they'd shut up and support Christie and have more sway with voters as a party. But thankfully, they aren't that smart. :)

    June 5, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. Hamburger Jones

    "I'd take Christie over this Armey yo-yo any day!" To be fair, Armey's career is over. Even the GOP dumped him. That's why he's trying to get into the news again.

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

    Christie for President!

    June 5, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. Sivick

    dick army wouldn't know good politics if it bit him on the ass. Christie's appeal to both dems and repubs is why he's one of the top presidential contenders for 2016, unless of course you want to bank on michelle bachman or donald trump AGAIN. morons... extreme partisan politicians are not what the people want. KEEP ON KEEPIN ON CHRISTIE!

    June 5, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. Boomer in Mo

    Christie is apparently a good deal smarter than Dick Armey.

    June 5, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. JF Spurlock

    I do hope Governor Christie seeks the Republican Nomination for President in 2016...
    I'm a Life Long Republican and,
    I'll enjoy voting AGAINST the Fat Moron!

    June 5, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. JF Spurlock

    I do hope Governor Christie seeks the Republican Nomination for President in 2016...
    I'm a Life Long Republican and,
    I'll enjoy voting AGAINST him!

    June 5, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. riccismiles

    NOTE: "The first rule of politics is 'Don't lose the friends you already have for the friends you're never going to get.'" I'd like you to REMEMBER that when you "ask" politicians to do their jobs. THE FIRST RULE has nothing to do with leading, governing or ensuring the public/private sectors are working properly. NOPE.. THE FIRST RULE is DONT LOSE FRIENDS and the SECOND RULE must be KEEP YOUR JOB at any cost. SCREW any politician who echos the sentiment. YOU can fire these people they work FOR YOU.

    June 5, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. tim ryan

    Debilitating Stupidity is to have the IRS discriminate against groups with opposing views of our President and then make the IRS in charge of Obamacare, that is plain scary.

    June 5, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. yogi

    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.
    -----------------
    Nice try Jeff. You experience reality from your limited reality. "You liberal Democrats are all the same", it is exactly the opposite: Most Democrats are not the same, they are in general independent thinkers, with greater capacity of clear analysis than most Republicans, who are much more comfortable singing the same tunes over and over again in the choir of Republiparrots. BTW we do hear the other's side points of view, and they are mostly more loud than clear. Democrates believe in evolution, education and progress, rather than obstruction, and finally, we choose discourse rather than shouting matches.

    June 5, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. Mike

    Naughity, naughty boy ! Christie you played FAIR instead of playing REPUBLICAN POLITICAL GAMES. TISK – TISK ! ! !

    June 5, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  14. Bruno Cruz

    Christie is try to set the stage to run for president. He knows swing voters want someone who can work with both sides of the aisle, and this Senate replacement, plus cozying up to President Obama, are his way of signaling to those in the middle that he's working on behalf of the country, not for political ideology. If he makes it to the general election, his chances will be good. But that's the question: How can he get past the Republican primaries when they are so ideological? Perhaps he'll need to run as an independent.

    June 5, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. Vijay

    If Obama or Michelle waste some money, then every republicans will scream at them. When republicans waste money, no one will scream.

    June 5, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  16. HotDog

    Here's a great example of why nothing ever gets accomplished in politics.

    June 5, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  17. wetcoastace

    There are few Americans who are as familiar with debilitating stupidity as Mr. Armey is. And he just keeps demonstrating it.

    June 5, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. noteasilyswayed

    Dick Armey is another one that needs to be voted out in 2014!

    June 5, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. kneesus

    Armey is not very smart. The first rule of politics is you don't talk about politics.

    June 5, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  20. mike johnson

    ... if he was President ... would he favor China over the US too .. to appear fair to our adversaries ... think I better not voter for this guy

    June 5, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. Bruce

    Gov. Christie wins again!
    He's looking better all the time.
    Hey, Chris, are you losing weight?

    June 5, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. Sunna

    The Republicans just don't get it... Christie is popular with both Democrats and Republicans – and is the Republican Party's "last great white hope" of even getting a winning candidate that people will take seriously in 2016. Maybe he'll leave the party and run with Hillary. Now, that would be worth watching!!!

    June 5, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  23. yogi

    It is interesting to see in these posts how low the overall expectations have become of Republicans. Once a Republican makes a fair and responsible decision, we are ready to declare him a saint right away, but don't forget his decision is still a calculated one: two separate elections.....

    June 5, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  24. Chip

    Bob-Your comments are 100% right on the money! What makes Christie different is that he's refusing to continue with the business as usual/partisan politics that has paralyzed our legislators and rendered them professionally impotent.

    June 5, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  25. Hamburger Jones

    "how low the overall expectations have become of Republicans" It is a matter of great concern.We need a conservative viewpoint to run the country properly, and if the GOP has become too corrupt and peculiar to be any use, we'll grow a new one. The GOP is naive enough to think they are sufficient to all this nation's problems, even after they elected a wetbrain and let his VP run the country down, and they openly plan to "get rid of the Democrats," but every day there are less Republicans.

    June 5, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
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