June 4th, 2013
04:24 PM ET
10 months 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. Fair

    "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. 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."

    I enjoy the fact that Dick Armey realizes and publicizes that his suggestion isn't democratic or "fair" as he put it...and then calls someone else stupid. What's so wrong with doing the right thing? Maybe Christie is doing the smart thing, only time will tell. But, if your fellow Republican talks about you like this, then extending the olive branch across the aisle may not be a bad idea. Mr. Armey's mom sure did know what she was doing when she named him.

    June 4, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. Not an ArmeyMan

    This guy is still alive? Obviously still stupid. Christie is the GOPs (Gasping Old Party) only chance.

    June 4, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  3. Coop-hmmm

    Yup – it's a darn shame to see someone settle for being GREAT at their JOB instead of plotting their political future above all else.... If working America all acted like this we'd still be sitting in caves rubbing sticks together.

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

    ""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."
    --

    Bingo. This is more Teatroll projection. Armey is projecting his own closed-minded myopia on everyone else, in part because it self-justifies his closed-minded myopia to believe that's how everyone else thinks, particularly the "other side."

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

    I say HI 5 Gov Christy for this bold move. Doing the right thing instead of playing politics. Kudos Gov Christy.

    June 4, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    I don't know if Democrats are going to love Christie, and frankly, I don't care. What is newsworthy is the GOP - finally, and I mean finally - are going after each other with a vengence. The GOP primaries ought to be fun. Because if nothing spells a GOP disaster fast enough, it's a nasty primary. Frankly, I see no end to the circus. I tried to tell folks this a few years back. You know. My message being that once GOPerville got it's fill on going after Obama, their only other recourse was to go after themselves. I suspect GOP leadership were holding their fingers crossed that the TeaPers would become lethargic and lose interest. Thanks to CNN, that didn't happen.

    June 4, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  7. Carrie O'Key

    This fat gas bag would do anything to be President–would not vote for him for a million hamburgers.

    June 4, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. Belseth

    A power hungry Republican is foaming at the mouth because Christy didn't take advantage of a Democrat's death. He fails to mention the seat was held by a Democrat so the people wanted a Democrat so by delaying the election and seating a Republican it would be an underhanded power grab. Funny how Republicans have no problem with this so long as they are the ones grabbing power.

    June 4, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. glauben

    allowing people to participate in democracy, the nerve!

    June 4, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  10. rrinbr

    he really is a Dick Army

    June 4, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. Carolyn

    I'm a Republican and I love Christie. I'd vote for him in a heartbeat. But come 2016, if he were to run and get the nomination and run against Hillary Clinton, my bet is NJ would still go for Hillary (despite the fact that Christie has proven he's the real leader).

    June 4, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. David

    WGAS what DIckless Armey has to say. Christie is doing what he believes is right for the state of NJ... NOT what the republicant's want.

    Wish there were more politicians like Christie out there... on both sides of the aisle.

    Good for you Gov!

    June 4, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. Sam

    What is wrong with this man? THIS IS AMERICA! WE APPOINT PEOPLE TO POSITIONS OF POWER, NOT ELECT THEM!

    June 4, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  14. toydrum

    People like Dick Armey are why I, and most of my relatives, left the Republican party in the last election. I would have voted for Huntsman but since he wasn't an extremist nutjob, the party wouldn't back him. I detest the Democrats party leadership and their party games, too, but the Republicans were too extreme.

    I wish a middle party would run on a platform of fiscal conservatism, investment in the needs of the longterm future (i.e, more than 1 term in office) and social mind-your-own-business. I would love to see men like Chris Christie and Jon Huntsman start that party, along with moderates from both sides of the aisle. Then maybe they could meet the majority of the citizens of this country here in the middle, where we know how to compromise because we successfully work with each other every day.

    June 4, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. BD70

    Guess Christie don't care what the Republicans think. He is not beholden to them or anyone. I admire that.

    June 4, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  16. R.A. Fulcher

    As a conservative, voting mostly republican I can see why the american people are turning way from the party.. These comments make no sense to those that want to see progress in government.. Mr. Armey used to like you.. now you are just self serving and think you are playing a game where you seek advantage... NJ folks are pretty smart and know what they want.. a rapid election is like a rapid trial...

    June 4, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  17. cedar rapids

    '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?'

    And yet the ones doing all the moaning here about not being 'taken care of' are repubs, not dems.

    June 4, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  18. honestmidwest

    It sounds like Christie is doing what is "right" – not what is "politically correct" for his obtrusive party (as proven by Armey and his gang). Good for Christie – It is refreshing to see a politician do what is correct.,

    June 4, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  19. Donna L

    I used to be a republican. I stopped when they became the 'stupid' party. Now, I would actually vote for Christie because he's "fair". I detest what Army said that he should stick with the party and not be "fair".

    June 4, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  20. sally

    Good for Christi...he has to work within the realities of his own state while the regular GOP are too scared to buck the Tea Party and the NRA.

    June 4, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  21. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    Proof that many people only care about their political party and not what is best for the country.

    June 4, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. Barney

    Dick Armey. LOL. Anyways...actually, "Dick", Chris is not making a political decision. If he was, he'd have appointed a Republican straight away. That's why most people in the real world like him: He has character. That, Dick, is a real leader on our hands. I know it may look alien to you, but Christie is generally about what is right, NOT who is right. He might be the President we've been waiting for.

    June 4, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  23. zzzzz

    There is no reasonable conservative that can join GOP anymore...

    June 4, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  24. Gary

    Whats up with Republicans and guys named Dick?

    June 4, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  25. Close2theEdge

    If Armey were being true to Tea Party ideals, then he would be advocating for a Tea Party conservative to fill the seat. But he is, like all Tea Party sycophants, nothing more than a shill for the GOP. Maybe, just maybe, Christie is more concerned about what is best for his state, and not just scoring short term political gain for a national party that looks more and more out of step with regular Americans?

    June 4, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
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