June 4th, 2013
04:24 PM ET
2 years 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. Srinivas

    Go Christie. About time we the people get a politician we can be proud of ... one who works for the people and not for the party. A people person is more likely to take the right decisions than a party person. At the end of the day, he trusts the people of NJ – which speaks volumes about the man. Cheers!

    June 4, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Dave

    Just more proof of the Republican leadership's intractable partisanship. They have no shame about it. None. These people need to be voted out!!

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

    Nobody ever accused Dick Armey of being a genius, that's for sure, and the GOP just can't get out of its own way over the past decade. The Democrats don't have to do anything to beat the GOIP nationally, because Republicans love nothing better than stabbing each other in the back. The only - the ONLY - Republican with a good reputation right now? Christie. So, of course, the old guard GOP wants to get rid of him. The DNC is loving life.

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

    Governor Christie is not politics as usual, that is why he will win reelection in my home state of New Jersey this November in a landslide. His decision to hold a special election in a few months makes sense. Dick Armey is a poster child for the broken beltway politics. I am a Democrat, but I am not interested in Democrat or Republican wins. I am interested in wins for America.

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

    The Dems will be friends with Christie when he changes over and joins them. Then he will run for Vice-President with Hillary to ensure himself a path to the top. There is no path to the top in the Republican Party. The Tea Party controls it and Christie will never have friends there, so he might as well become a semi-conservative Democrat.

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

    Chris Christie gives me hope that one day there will be the sort of bipartisan governance that actually aims for the well-being of the people of the USA. What the Dick Armey's of the GOP appear to want most is to maintain their unbending and non-inclusive stances in perpetuity. Can they really be this clueless about the drip-drip-drip effect of pronouncements such as Armey's? The so-called Grand Old Party (a laughable term these days) is doing itself far more harm than good every time another of their "messages" falls on the collective American ear. They just don't get it, do they?

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

    why the gop is self imploding: guys like dick armey don't get it. christie does, and he is popular because he is effective and gets it. let the people decide, isn't that the point of democracy?

    the people elected a dem for the seat- the gop contender wasn't even close, more than 20%-- that's not a landslide, its' an earthquake. the gop knows they can't win in nj with election, so their position is let's thwart the popular will by appointing someone they don't want???? who's being stupid? who's moving toward dictatorship?

    June 4, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. Mopery

    Does anyone else find it ironic that the GOP has a Dick Armey?

    June 4, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. Jobu

    Isn't Dick Armey a dinosaur? Give him a megaphone, make sure everyone hears him.
    The GOP needs to understand that no one likes them anymore.

    June 4, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. Everetta Woods

    I have so much respect for Christie. A man with morals, the ability to see both sides, and do what the people want and what's best for the people rather than party!!! I'd vote for him for POTUS even if he stays Republican.

    June 4, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  11. Kyle

    It might actually be cool to see Gov Christie run as an Independent candidate for president. I think that's what our country needs most right now. A fearless politician who owes nobody anything.

    June 4, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. capnmike

    "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."...Armey, you just don't get it, do you? Republican is the party of selfishness, greed, hatred for the poor, hatred for minorities, hatred for anybody who isn't one of your stinking country-club pals. That's right, you greasy moron, We ARE going to like him because he "plays fair", something you right-wing pigs don't even begin to understand. So stuff it.

    June 4, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. David

    As a moderate Democrat, I would consider Christie on a Presidential ticket. he really has shown a few times that he is able to rise above politics and do what is best for the people of NJ. Quite refreshing in this day.

    June 4, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. vidal808

    Hehehehe, thanks Governor Christie – at least you are showing some common sense. I am glad you did – don't worry about this Teabagger moron, no one cares what he thinks anyway.....

    June 4, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. regenesis0

    >""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."

    Maybe he just thinks that since exercising his appointment would result in an unusually-long term for an appointee-senator and given that there's ample opportunity to stage a special election in a timely manner it would better serve the spirit of democracy to allow the people to elect their representative.
    You know, instead of serving the spirit of politics. Dick.

    June 4, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. damn John

    Dick Army knot.

    June 4, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  17. MagicPanties

    Debilitating Stupidity is the definition of the Tea Party

    June 4, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. Flagship, NC

    GIVE THEM HELL CHRISTIE!!!!!!!
    You are the Man!

    June 4, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. 2 Km N of G Zero

    Don't hold an election.
    Hold an auction.
    (oh dear, I went there...)

    June 4, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  20. Lauradet

    Yes! GOP keep fighting amongst your party. What a delight. : )

    June 4, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  21. weatherthestorm

    According to Armey, it's not really about giving the voters of NJ the first opportunity to elect their Senator. It's about political power and playing by the perceived rules of the political party game, while ignoring the voters' interests. And I'm not a liberal or Democrat. Give the voters the chance to elect a Republican if that's what they want.

    June 4, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  22. diogy

    As a reformed republican that has found the GOP unelectable (I define debilitating stupidity to vote republican), I have to admit Christie is now a viable candidate I could rally behind again in 16. This much for the "friends you never will have".

    June 4, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  23. Edwin

    toydrum: if anyone could spearhead a moderate party at this time, it would be Christie. I think he should hold off on a presidential run until 2020, but if he decides to to throw his hat in the ring as a republican, remember this moment.

    For that matter, all of us moderates - or even the extremists who are finally sick of party bickering - should remember. Register republican in your state so you can vote for him. Imagine if even 30% of the registered democrats voted for Christie in the primaries - it would make him a serious contender. As long as the extreme right wing of the republican party gets to determine who wins the republican primary they will pick someone whose vision for the country is, well, as extreme as they are.

    For die-hard democrats, I know it will be difficult to stomach registering for the hated party... but if you believe in 'Country First, Party Second' then it might be the right choice.

    June 4, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. Jim in Jersey

    He will always get MY vote. Even if the tea party runs someone against him.

    June 4, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  25. SokrMom

    Pleasant as it is to watch Republicans squabble, the last thing Chris Christie is, is stupid. The most important thing to know about Chris Christie is not how smart he is, it is how little self-control he has. Not just the food–check out all the YouTube videos of him going ballistic when people criticize him in public. He's a total loose canon.

    June 4, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
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