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. ice9load

    Christie is seen as a strong GOP contender, the rest better start getting on-board.

    June 4, 2013 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  2. omeany

    Dear Gov. Christie: Please leave the GOP and join the Dems or go independent. I'll be happy to support you either way. The GOP can't stop the stupid of their party no matter how hard they try. They are an obsolete party and the US will be better off without their obstructiveness and greed.

    June 4, 2013 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  3. simplesimon

    whats debilitating is the fatal combined repuglicans and teatardz diseases of bigotry, intolerance, narcissism and just bull headedness masquerading as politics seeing their lives flashing in front of their eyes alot faster than they thought it could possibly occur due to their own utter stupidity.

    and Armey is lucky he isnt in prison making little rocks out of big ones for all his crookedness.

    June 4, 2013 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  4. Elucidated1

    Boy, Christie really chickened out on this one. But he was at risk with the right wing and still may be.for 2016. I guess he truly doesn't want to be literally the "biggest loser."

    June 4, 2013 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  5. loosun

    In fact, Armey is making stupid statements on a national platform just like the rest of the Tea party elements like Michelle Bachman and Mitch Mcconnell. Eventually, they will all be voted out of office as they focus on their party more than on the American people

    June 4, 2013 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  6. teedofftaxpayer

    Christie did the right thing. If he appointed a replacement it should have been a Democrat to replace the Democrat. More and more states have laws stating you have to replace with the party who lost the elected official. It's what the people voted for.

    June 4, 2013 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  7. Megan

    Wow. This Dick guy is kind of a dick. If he REALLY thinks that New Jersey voters deserve to go a year and a half without an elected official in the senate. It doesn't matter whether they're republican or democratic, that's not fair.

    June 4, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  8. Dan

    So, the the governer didn't do what he wanted and he calls him names?

    June 4, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  9. JLS639

    Maybe Armey should consider this isn't about Christie trying to make friends but respecting the people of New Jersey to elect a replacement as soon as legally possible.

    June 4, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  10. drake remoray

    A small gesture is met with such a cynical reaction. Washington is broken....in large part due to the Republican party of No.

    June 4, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  11. Joe

    Take it as a compliment Mr. Christie! Doing the right thing might not win political points, but many Americans are proud of your doing the right thing for your constituents.

    June 4, 2013 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  12. Thom

    It's people like DICK Armey who give this country a bad name.........

    June 4, 2013 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  13. yeha398

    Armey is a human anal cyst. If you are the wrong side of him you are on the right side of history.

    June 4, 2013 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  14. PK

    I know many Dems who are going to vote for Christie because he "cooperates" with Dems. That's the problem with the GOP. They have poor vision.

    June 4, 2013 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  15. clarke

    Well i think Christie did the right thing, I am not a Democrat either, just in case you think so.

    June 4, 2013 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  16. bcrunner

    Not bad Governor Christie!! Not bad! I don't know if I can vote for you as a Republican, only because I don't know if I can trust the Republicans you'd be working with... However, I would consider you....

    June 4, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  17. Armey of one.

    I find it laughable that Aremy would accuse Christie of making a political decision instead of a policy decision. He did the right and fair thing. And anybody in the US Congress that wants to accuse Christie of "debilitating stupidity" should take a quick look in the mirror and show up to work for the first time in 6 years!

    June 4, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  18. 3tango

    Dick Armey has often been guilty of poor decision-making when in office. His statements carry no weight with voters. I greatly admire Chris Christie,and as a Democrat, I would vote for him since he plays it straight – a Harry Truman kind of guy, one to be admired, regardless of party affiliation. Just does what is right for his state and for the country. Bring people together, don't separate them further – as the far right wants to do. Bob Dole, another great American, is correct in his assessment of the failure of Republicans to rid themselves of the curse of the tea party movement.

    June 4, 2013 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  19. WJC

    The right thing to do is to fill the seat with a Democrat since that party already held that seat. Christie doesn't toe the party line and I like that. I could vote for the man.

    June 4, 2013 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  20. Thom

    Christie did the fairest thing a Governor could possibly do. Unbelievably a courageous thing to do. This guy will be always be respected by anyone that matters.

    June 4, 2013 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  21. RayJ

    Dick Armey is like a caricature of exactly what is wrong with politics today.

    June 4, 2013 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  22. Timus

    I applaude Christie for doing the right thing!!! Not always easy in this political climate.

    June 4, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  23. Bill39

    "The first rule of politics is 'Don't lose the friends you already have for the friends you're never going to get.'" With this as the first rule, it's no wonder the GOP can't do any governing.

    June 4, 2013 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  24. Drew

    If you're going to eat your own, might as well go to the biggest buffet.

    June 4, 2013 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  25. lol

    Debilitating stupidity, alright. That pretty much sums up the Republicrats.

    Oh wait. Same for the Demoblicans. We're screwed.

    June 4, 2013 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
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