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. Thinkergal

    Go Christie. He just gets better and better.

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

    Not only should Christie have a prompt special election, he should appoint a Democrat in the interim. To do otherwise would be to ignore the wishes of the people of New Jersey. Of course, it doesn't even occur to Armey that Christie should just do the right thing. How very Republican of him.

    June 4, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. steve

    As a moderate Democrat, I'd vote for this guy for President against almost any potential Democratic candidate in 2016. I guess that's the reason that most Republicans hate him.

    "The first rule of politics is 'Don't lose the friends you already have for the friends you're never going to get.'"

    And this, folks, is the reason why Washington can't get anything done.

    June 4, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. Barry

    thank you Dick, you are living up to your name.

    June 4, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. DLH

    Dick Armey is fast becoming ancient history...like the Republican party. The GOP has lost the dock, I believe forever, and they are finally waking up to this realization.

    June 4, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  6. DLW

    The reason people will cross party lines to vote for him is that they feel in the end he will do what he believes is right regardless if it's a conservative, liberal or moderate viewpoint. Whether I will or not will depend on who is running against him. Some Republicans just don't get it that a Republican has to get a lot of Democratic votes to win in New Jersey and that actually goes the same with the US but not as extreme.

    June 4, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  7. Monica

    I'm leaning right and lately have been voting Republican, but this genius Armey is exactly what's wrong with the world of politics. He's the kind that fights for "freedom" and "democracy" only when it suits his goals, here he has no problem with overriding people's will and would like to appoint someone of even different party than what the people chose. His next campaign slogan should be "KICK.ME.OUT.OF.OFFICE.NOW."

    June 4, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  8. Tom Berry

    Shut up, Armey. It's thinking like your's that is responsible for so much stupidity Washington. Let the people choose. Not the party.

    June 4, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  9. Wake up People!

    My God, it seems like the GOP were almost hoping the Senator would die so they could pick up another seat. Morbid.

    June 4, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  10. L.J. Rhodes

    It's debilitating stupidity to allow the voters to decide who they want to replace the senator they voted to put into office? It's debilitating stupidity to refuse to just appoint a Republican, when the voters put a Democrat in that seat? If doing right by the people you lead and represent is debilitating stupidity, then the GOP is so extremely opposed to decency and ethics as to be truly debilitatingly stupid.

    June 4, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. Buc

    Dick Armey should look in the mirror if he want to see truly "debilitating stupidity". It is sad to watch the ugly demise of a once functional GOP.

    June 4, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  12. TT

    I am a NJ Republican and I think Chris Christie is doing the right thing to let the citizens vote. There is almost no chance that a Republican will be elected, but that's the way it goes when you live in this state, unfortunately. Although I don't agree with his every decision, I admire Christie because he is a practical man who seems to put the people of NJ first, rather than kowtowing to politics. Now I'm off to the polls to vote for his reelection in today's primary!

    June 4, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  13. Mike

    It's only a matter of time before Christie becomes a Democrat. He's obviously not wanted in the GOP.

    June 4, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  14. viaquest

    The People were allowed to choose who they wanted in office in 2008, and again in 2012 look where that got us! An Administration tied to multiple issues of mis-conduct, lying to the American people, ineffective government,record breaking numbers of people on government assistance, 10% unemployment, agency shut downs due to lack of funding, unpaid working days for military, IRS misconduct centered on conservative groups, bloated IRS spending, Government employees pleading the 5th , Obama sealing records with Presidential decrees, attempts to destroy the bill of rights , Amnesty for millions of illegals, Watching over 80k civilians die in Syria, Need I continue!!

    June 4, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  15. Solo

    I would like Mr. Armey to correct me if I am wrong, but, doesn't the decision on who to replace Sen. Lautenberg ultimately the responsibility of the citizens of the Garden State? Armey is only upset because the Gov isn't playing the political game by appointing someone from the GOP. Personally, I think it is a very wise move by Christie.

    June 4, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  16. Change of Heart

    I'm a democrat and I have been watching Christie. So far my party is cutting social security and medicare. Something I would expect the reppublicans to do.While I have been waiting for the republican party to show some integrity to the "people" and not the "party". I like Christie's courage and tenacity - I trust him. I vote integrity and if Christie runs for president I'll vote for him. Republican or Democrat. He won't be bought..

    June 4, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  17. 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 an imbecile. Christie was elected and will probably be re-elected in a Democratic state because he gets votes from open-minded Democrats and independents.

    June 4, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  18. leah

    Christie is doing himself or the people of NJ any favors by staying within the Republican party. He is not wanted there. And they have not only refused to help him time & time again...they throw trash at him in the media at any opportunity they can get.

    The people of NJ don't give a rip about the GOP, who doesn't give a rip about them. Either get with the program, Christie, or don't work for the people any more.

    June 4, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  19. Darw1n

    I'm a left leaning independent who's been a registered dem for the last 7 years. Chris Christie looks more and more like legitimate Presidential material to me.

    June 4, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  20. Uh-Clem

    Christie just became a brighter star in New Jersey politics. People like Army are dinosaurs and doomed to extinction and are behaving like wounded animals preparing to die.

    June 4, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  21. Lynsey Pug

    As a former Republican, it's folks like Christie that could convince me to vote GOP again. Love this guy who doesn't bow down to the looney right-wing extremists that have taken over.

    June 4, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  22. Scott Berg

    Let's get this right; a Governor does what is by all accounts the fair and right thing to do and is pilloried by his own party for not being a hack! People of all political stripes that are tired of the same old politics that Mr. Armey encouraged... And that's why Mr. Christie is being considered for president by many independents and Mr. Armey was forced out of office. Democrat or Republican, whatever happened to doing what's right for the people- letting them pick their own representatives!

    June 4, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  23. MarcNJ

    If he would just get the state's unemployment rate down, he'd have my vote.

    June 4, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  24. Jackie Treehorn

    Christie has just made himself the only Republican who I would consider voting for since the dawn of the George W/Karl Rove era.

    June 4, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. ricardo1968

    In the GOP dialect, the word 'integrity'and 'debilitating stupidity' are synonyms.

    June 4, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
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