June 4th, 2013
04:24 PM ET
8 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. Grampa

    It's good to hear from Dick Armey again. I'd forgotten how much fun it was laughing at him.

    June 4, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  2. Bill

    Armey is the pot calling the kettle black... What a dope.

    June 4, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  3. Chutzpah

    Maybe Governor Christie's thinking, "The people of my state should have the representation they want, not what is politically advantageous for my party". Wouldn't THAT be something?

    Perhaps principled politicans of the Republican persuasion aren't extinct after all.

    June 4, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  4. Hambone

    @WWOD. Considering he has appointed more republicans to posts than any other Democtatic POTUS I would say he would do the same.

    June 4, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  5. Response to "Bob"

    Hey Bob, this Democrat would vote for Christie. See, some of us actually use our brains and make decisions based on the person running, their style, and their stances. I don't agree with everything the Dems do, nor the Repubs, and I refuse to vote one way just for "party sake"....that is what has dug us this huge hole in DC. Compromise is not a bad word...I bet our founding fathers did a lot of it writing a couple of neat documents back in the 1700's....to bad that skillset is lost.

    June 4, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  6. Tom

    Armey is absolutely correct. Let us remember that the state of Massachussetts changed the law to prevent a Republican governor from appointing a Republican to the Senate, then changed the law back when a Democrat was governor. Christie has every right to appoint a Republican and he should have done so.

    June 4, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  7. Scott

    Nice to know Dick Armey puts politics above honor and from some of the comments I see here so do a lot of "Family values" conservatives. I guess honor is not a family value, it can join the list of values that don't matter along with truthfulness and fidelity.

    June 4, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  8. Willy Nilly

    Well, I haven't heard from Armey for quite a while but now that he's spoken up I only remember how stupid he was and how he was most often on the wrong side of things. I didn't trust him then and don't trust him now. My advice is for him to just go away and let one of the few adults on the GOP side do his job.

    June 4, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  9. Chris

    Considering that the respect for Chris Christie is high across party lines should be considered a positive rather than the negative the GOP seems to want to sell it to be.

    The commenter that stated Christie as being America's only living statesman might not be entirely correct as I feel that both parties have quite a few statesmen left (although they rarely win reelections in this divided day in age), but he is right on the money in saying that statesmen who can stay in office are a rarity and that Christie is one of the deservedly higher profile statesmen left standing.

    June 4, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  10. Maddog2020

    It is his state he can do what he wants.

    June 4, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  11. DJ Reality

    Dick Armey is typical of all republican politicians. He can't play by the rules. He is just another hack politician. Christie is following the state rules on replacing a dead elected officials. It is the state of New Jersey's decision on what to do not the republican party. Dick Armey should keep his nose out of this. And to all others: If you don't live in New Jersey it isn't your problem. At least Christie is trying to abide by his states laws and leaving politics out of this situation. He is doing what is right and not what is politically motivated. Republicans have been out of touch with doing what's right for years..

    June 4, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  12. gb

    I'm a lifetime Democrat, but I respect Chris Christie. And as for who is "stupid", we have to bear in mind that Armey and his cohorts lost the last couple of presidential elections. If the GOP had more people like Christie, they might pose a threat to the Dems. Fortunately for my side, Christie represents a rare species.

    June 4, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  13. snowdogg

    "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."

    And what does this say about the GOP mindset? Don't bother "playing fair" cause you won't make any friends?

    June 4, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  14. Chris

    LOL Dick Army is Hilarious and while there is some truth to what he said , he obviously has a bad memory, then again he may actually admit to doing the same himself.........If he did I would put more value behind what he said.

    June 4, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  15. Troglodytes Entertaining All

    A Tea Partier accusing someone else of 'Debilitating Stupidity'... Oh, that's rich.

    June 4, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  16. Juanito

    Ramey is spot on with his assessment.

    As for career politicians, their best chances sometimes avail themselves when they change parties. Don't be surprised if Christie jumps should he see it as the best opportunity to get elected to the White House.

    As for statesmanship: its dead. True statesmanship means abiding in principles, which often conflicts with popularity.

    Modern politicians are front pieces to organizations, not just political parties. But at the core, they are out for themselves, which may mean getting into bed with some seedy characters. Then, they are out for party(unless it'll cost them their seat), and then somewhere down the line, their constituents will be fed scraps from the table and be amazingly content with it.

    As for Mr Smith who went to Washington? The system handed him his head and was voted out the very next term.

    I'm not pessimistic, just rather a disappointed realist. In all honesty, I like happy endings, too...

    June 4, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  17. lIb

    What would Obama do? select members of his administration based on experience and skills. Obama just elected a repub for the IRS and kept Patraous on even though he was a repub. Obama has selected many repubs into his administration and women. Chris Christie should do the same. Heck, none of the repubs are his friends. IT was Obama who came to his aid even when the repubs turned their back on him and King. Repubs are liars.

    June 4, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  18. Greg H.

    Dick Armey is a selfish traitor to his country.

    June 4, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  19. Roger

    As an independent, I'd vote for Christie for president. Too bad he's already angered too many republicans to get nominated.

    June 4, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  20. BeverlyNC

    The only repeated and repeated stupidity is being committed by the Republican Party. They have offended every single group in America from women to college students to the poor and their bigotry towards every ethnic group is astounding. A dying Party who keeps digging the hole deeper. Christie is at least a human being. Republicans could care less about the People. They just want their corporate bribes.

    June 4, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  21. nwi

    Republicans hate free, open and fair elections.

    June 4, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  22. Black Dynamite

    When a guy who got Teabagged is complaining, that means somebody did something right somewhere.

    Good work, Chris. Keep it up!

    June 4, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  23. Future

    A Christie presidential campaign would be a worse failure than John Mcain.. A republican has to carry the south for a chance at winning and he cannot do that .....he is toast for 2016.

    June 4, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |

    This is why the republican party is trashed, All about the GOP politics and never about what the american people want. Hey if it was left up to the GOP we the american people would never get a vote. These politians would stay in office forever and vote them ownselves in over and over again,. This is why I would love for him to run for president Chis is all about the people. Way to go Chris.

    June 4, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  25. Jack

    I can think of no greater recommendation than to think so differently from Armey that he becomes abusive toward you.

    June 4, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
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