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. SCBAMA

    Liberals...Fantasy land is this way....--->

    June 4, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. Len

    Did Armey actually just suggest that taking political opportunity is more important than playing fair?

    June 4, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  3. Mike Mazzla

    Umm don't the normal people of the country prefer what Christie is doing rather than what Armey says he should do politically? Dick pretty much just summed up what people hate about him and politics. If someone from a certain political party passes away, I think the best effort and what is right is to appoint an interim from that same party then let the people elect who they want during the next election. Doesnt that seem like the right thing to do?

    June 4, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. EV

    "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."

    'Love' is a pretty strong word, but I certainly respect him more for this action. He actually has a pair of b@lls and stood up to his party. Pandering to the left? Possibly, but still doing things on his own terms rather than being a 'good party man'.

    June 4, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  5. Bob

    "Dick" being the key word when talking about Armey.

    June 4, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  6. FM

    As if anybody looks to Dick Armey as a model of fairness.

    June 4, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  7. Andy G

    Christie is not dumb. He has the support of a lot of people, including democrats like me.

    June 4, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  8. Joe Plumber

    Christie is playing it exactly right. He needs to capture those independents and even some of the less liberal dems if he wants to win in the general. His only problem is going to be in the primaries – but most likely he will be the smartest and sanest republican hopeful to run in 2016. I say this as a liberal who would probably never vote for him.

    June 4, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  9. Andrew

    Since when is ignoring the will of the people and making decisions yourself "stupid"? How does anyone vote for a party like this? I don't see how the GOP gets the vote of a single decent person.

    June 4, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  10. nintex

    I'm liking Gov. Christie more every day! Wish there were more sensible, level-headed politicians like him in the Republican party.

    June 4, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  11. Mark

    Besides being a self righteous no-nothing, Armey lacks grace and courage. Stopping the hyper partisanship that puts party before country starts with a single step. Perhaps Governor Christie's move is that step.

    June 4, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    It's not about appointing a Republician to fill a temp. spot. It's about the people having a voice in putting the person they want to do the job. After all their the ones who have to pay this person they hire. It seems almost every time Republicians open their mouths they sound more and more arogant. That was hard for me to say since I'm a Republician ONe Republician named Congressman Stephen Fincher screams and rants about cutting food stamps for the poor saying who cares these people should starve and we shouldn't spend other people's money. All the while Fincher who is a farmer gets 3.5 million dollars in subsidies from the federal government . Republiocians have a farm bill which hew supports along with many other Republicians would increase subsidies by 9 million dollars and cut food stamps by 21 billion over the next ten years. REpublicians over the years have come to live by a very old saying. DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO. I'm ashamed to be a Republician these days.

    June 4, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. dean patrick

    Dick Armey says Christie is stupid?
    I'm thinking Christie has had a genius breakthrough.

    June 4, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. cedar rapids

    So Armey tries to claim is most often done by the left but at the same time calls not doing it a stupid move and an obvious mistake.
    Its a classic example of the trying to label one side as the 'bad guys' whilst advocating doing it yourself that goes on constantly these days.

    June 4, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  15. felix

    'Don't lose the friends you already have for the friends you're never going to get.' If that's the logic that the GOP is using now, they are in big trouble. Because the friends they already have are a shrinking minority, and they've made little effort to change that MAJOR problem. Armey is what I call a failed politician.

    June 4, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  16. NKBL

    Armey is debilitatingly stupid

    June 4, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  17. Granite Sentry

    Leave it to the Dems to not only take care of Dems but expect the Republicans to take care of Dems as well. If we don't, well we're just partisan, right?

    June 4, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  18. MizFrizz

    Christie is doing the RIGHT thing.. putting the people of NJ FIRST by giving them the final say in who represents them in Washington. Kudos to him!

    June 4, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  19. IvotedforObama

    These people are so ignorant. Christie is their best chance at capturing the WH in 2016, but they are going to demonize him, nominate some nutjob and lose to Hillary.

    June 4, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  20. C.oliver

    So making a decision that gives a voice to the people that he serves and not playing political games in congress is stupid? Christie is a great guy, I hope he goes far.

    June 4, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. Dave

    "Shouldn't the first rule of politics be "do the right thing". Today's politician (both sides) don’t know the real ‘rules’. This is why we are where we are."

    No – because you need most if not everyone to "do the right thing" for that idealism to work. Otherwise, it's a futile effort. So in our real political world, you have to live by the current rule. Sure it's great to change but that just isn't going to happen. I don't know why people don't get this simple idea.

    June 4, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. Dr. D.

    Christie tries to break the political partisanship is debilitating this nation and he is shot down by one of its worst perpetrators. Can't say I am surprised.

    If he runs for President, the big man has my vote!

    June 4, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  23. AJW3

    The stage is set for a Christie conversion.

    June 4, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  24. Sane Person

    This is why people are sick of politicians. We've come to expect them to do whats right for thier party or thier own re-election over whats right for the people they supposedly represent. When one actually acts with regards to thier const.ituency, they get attacked by thier own party.

    June 4, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  25. bitsinmotion

    "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."

    Armey is a moron. Christie was elected and will probably be re-elected in a Democratic state because he appeals to open-minded Democrats and independents.

    June 4, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
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