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. Gunny

    The aptly named Armey, showing the GOP stripes.

    June 4, 2013 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    This christie is moving elections around so that he can run for governor. Just saw a few of the assaults and insults he has thrown out to his constituents or anyone who disagrees with him.
    President? Putin's first action would be to poison him! Other world leaders are not going to tolerate somebody with no manners and a bully.

    June 4, 2013 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  3. W8a2nd

    "debilitating stupidity" Must be the same GOP disease started with the village idiot from Waco, George W Bush.

    June 4, 2013 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  4. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    That's way aremy is a washed up gop goof and a model for more gop garbage party train wrecks,loser!!!!!

    June 4, 2013 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  5. Mainer

    Compromise, collaboration, reason, maturity, civil debate, country before party....Its refreshing frankly. Christie has won my vote.

    June 4, 2013 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  6. Carol Peterson

    I'd like to see Christie change to the Democrat party. He's showing more sense than most members of the GOP. He deserves better than the party of No.

    June 4, 2013 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  7. tnconserv

    Christie did exactly the right thing- let the people decide.

    June 4, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  8. peoples choice

    Anyone that pays attention to what the stupid, ex- congressman, from Texas says is too dumb to make rational decisions. He is telling the people of New Jersey that they are not entitled to vote as they please and should let someone appoint the person that will represent them in the Senate. Watch all the tea party nuts start ranting and raving about the Governor's decision. Christie should change to a Democrat and run for President. he would clean the clock of whoever runs as the Republican nominee as will whoever runs as the Democrat. People are sick and tired of the Republicans stupid way of trying to govern.

    June 4, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  9. Former GOP

    ........So......allowing CITIZENS TO VOTE...............is a GOP stupidity, HUH?..............

    June 4, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  10. Socialkenny

    I think we should all give Chris some slack already.

    June 4, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  11. mdn

    I think all reasonable people look for their elected officials to do the "fair thing". Independents are the swing voters that count. He will be more appreciated and respected for doing the right and fair thing as he has done. NJ voted for Obama by an 18% margin...so in fact their are Democrats that support Christie...and Christie knows that.

    June 4, 2013 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  12. LB

    Good for you, Mr. Christie!
    Debilitating stupidity? I don't think so.
    And good to see a politician simply play "fair", not simply politics.
    From Canada, eh?

    June 4, 2013 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  13. Mark

    The attitude that underlies Armey;s remarks are precisely why the GOP has lost two elections and could well lost another in 2016. Ironically, Christie is probably one of the few conservatives that could actually go head to head with Hillary (maybe Rudio too).

    June 4, 2013 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  14. matt houston

    "A Democratic governor would have "seized the opportunity" and appointed a senator from his own party,"

    So this means that if someone else would do something unethical, then you should do it too should you have the opportunity. Classic debilitating stupidity.

    June 4, 2013 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  15. rconatser1

    WWOD: Obama has appointed more than one Republican to his administration. Armey is another GOP/Tea Partier that puts party above country every time.

    June 4, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  16. art

    I KNOW Gov Cristie made the RIGHT CHOICE because the GOPTP in CONGRESS is PISSED! Ha, that should show them, Cristie don't fear nor care about them. He will obviously get reelected by HUGE DEMOCRATIC SUPPORT and the Senator to be will be the current Mayor of Newark. Loving the GOPTP Kangaroo theater!

    June 4, 2013 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  17. Slinky

    Someone should tell DICK Armey that New Jersey law requires that elections be held to fill vacant seats, and the Governor can only appoint people on an interim basis.

    June 4, 2013 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  18. Lisa Granberg

    That is what is wrong with our government. Do what's right for you not for our country mentality. That is why our country is in the mess it is now. Christie did the right thing.

    June 4, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    What is wrong with the people of New Jersey deciding who they would like to represent them, instead of Christie exacting his power as governor to decide what is best? This is the type of leadership that is needed and should be celebrated. Instead of playing politics, he is trusting the people of his state to make the decision on what is best for them. Kudos!

    June 4, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  20. TexasInd

    Dick who?

    June 4, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    What is wrong about putting the decision to the voters? Republicans are of a decidedly undemocratic stripe. They are autocratic obstructionists. A ship of fools.

    June 4, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  22. Scott

    I think Armey has spent too much time in Washington. Christie has become one of the most qualified Republicans. He cares more about the results than the dumb parlor games in Washington. I favor reasonable term limits for Congress because too many of them only care about getting reelected than in trying to do the correct and moral thing.

    June 4, 2013 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  23. GS

    He did what was right for the state of NJ and the people of NJ, and not what is 'best for the party'. If they all worked that way, this country would not be in the mess we are in.

    GOOD JOB GOV! (And I live in GEORGIA!)

    June 4, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  24. rafterman11

    The people elected a Democratic senator and Armey suggests Christie should impose a Republican on them? The election is the right thing. If the GOP wants the seat, let them earn it by getting elected.

    June 4, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  25. Roger Kluever

    Dick "Nobody" Armey is a washed-out, angry has-been. By now he's probably too senile to play Bingo in a Vero Beach retirement community.

    June 4, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
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