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. Name:reb

    A democrat and someone who thinks a politician finally did the right thing. It would be different if the senator that died was a republican. Much respect

    June 4, 2013 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  2. James

    Dick Armey wants us to have an appointed Senator foisted upon us for as long as possible. But here in NJ, we actually like to vote for our representatives rather than being commanded by a lobbyist like Armey.

    June 4, 2013 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  3. George Philly

    I'm disgusted by politicians like Armey. They defecate their partisan poison daily on the good people of this country to further their own deluded agenda of creating a religious plutocracy. Dems have their own extremists who are problematic but the Republicans are the worst. The culture war is going to destroy our country unless we learn to work together... Give a little to get a little. Throw out in disgrace any politician who refuses to work reasonably with the other side. Declare it treason to sabatoge bills with poison pills. Make these bastards do the people's work. Put a figurative knife up to the necks of the party bosses and their backers, threaten them... They believe they own the country... Prove them wrong!

    June 4, 2013 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  4. Sean

    Which one is more important, the voice of your people or the voice of your party?

    June 4, 2013 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  5. yogi

    Not a day goes by without GOP stupidity, they just can't help themselves, they really are a disgusting lot. The decision by Christie is the correct one, let the people decide and not Greed Over People. Vote all the tea weenies out of office at every opportunity.

    June 4, 2013 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  6. Hmccabe

    When President Obama vacated his Illinois Senate seat to serve his term of office as President, then Governor Rod Blagoyavich( Democrat) tried to sell his seat to the highest bidder. He ended up appointing a completely incompetent crony and getting a felony conviction. He is currently in prison. So for Governor Christie I guess this is a step in the right direction. But he has upset way too many Republicans to be seriously considered for national office any time soon.

    June 5, 2013 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  7. nicoly

    At least Christie has the guts to stand up to the extremists in his party. I can at least say I admire his moxy. Thats more than i can say for all other republicans and most democrats. And to be called stupid by the tea party and their minions is hilarious. Thats like Lohan calling Bynes a lush.

    June 5, 2013 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  8. UTModerate

    I commend Christie for his actions. Instead of playing politics, he is giving the people of the Garden State the ability to vote for the person representing them in Congress. That's simply the right thing to do.

    June 5, 2013 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  9. BlueDem1

    Republicans are just mad because they thought they were getting a free Senate seat. They know there is no way New Jersey is going to elect a Republican to the U.S. Senate. Talk about an "entitlement mentality."

    June 5, 2013 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  10. Larry L

    Christie is the only Republican I might consider as a candidate for political office. I do believe the Democratic Party could use Governor Christie.

    June 5, 2013 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  11. sqeptiq

    Armey has a greater familiarity with "debilitating stupidity" than any modern figure; after all, he helped create the tea party insanity by roping in more debilitated stupidoids than any previous politician since Sarah Palin.

    June 5, 2013 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  12. josephine

    republicans against republicans?? There is a God.

    June 5, 2013 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  13. commonsenseredux

    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."

    This exactly why Christie should re-register as an Independent. Even after his response to Obama's support after Hurricane Sandy, the Republicans still don't understand that he put's the best interest of New Jersey ahead of what's best for his current party.

    June 5, 2013 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  14. RickFromTexas

    It's always kind of fun watching republicans turn on each other, it comes so naturally to them and informs us all so clearly which party is actually a functioning party.

    June 5, 2013 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  15. karl

    Whether Christie did or did not make the correct decision this event shows that GOP leadership is woefully lacking when name calling is considered an appropriate response to a fellow Republican.

    June 5, 2013 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  16. Ed T Duck

    Well, know we know Dick Armey lives up to his name.

    June 5, 2013 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  17. arthurcl

    Army is playing into the hands of he DEMS by voicing his wrong views about Christie!

    June 5, 2013 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  18. Jersey Girl

    As a Democrat in New Jersey, I think Armey needs to check himself. New Jersey is a blue state, and Christie knows he can't get reelected by Republicans alone. He has to reach across the aisle to Democrats if he has any political aspirations beyond this year. This isn't a simple appoint-a-conservative-because-I-have-the-chance situation. Christie has to tread lightly, because New Jersey is one of the few states left in this country in which compromise is not only the right thing to do, it's necessary for the continuation of political careers (particularly for Republicans). Armey, as a member of the Tea Party (a group with little influence in New Jersey) should realize that us East Coast liberal elites (sarcasm intended) don't give care about his agenda.

    June 5, 2013 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  19. Skarphace

    Note to Christie: If what you are doing is drawing fire from both the Democrats and the Republicans, then you are doing something right. Keep it up.

    Do not bow to the partisan pressure from either side. The American public is paying attention and we will reward free thinkers with our votes.

    June 5, 2013 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  20. midwestmatt

    Dick Armey is a puke. A lying pile of excrement.

    If Christie had appointed someone from the opposing party to fill the vacant seat, he would have been standing in the way of the electorate but that's NEVER bother the GOP.

    Armey is an overpaid shill for the Tea Baggers and he's making sure gets paid first before anyone else.

    If Armey hates you, you're doing something right.

    June 5, 2013 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  21. Peter

    Armey is the voice of Debilitating Stupidity. The GOP has been nothing but debilitating to the US political system, because of their own stupidity. I don't have much good to say about the Democrats, except that they still pretend that the system works.

    June 5, 2013 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  22. Steve

    I've never been Chris Christie's biggest fan, but after seeing him reaching across party lines to get things done and taking the path of bipartisanship rather than blind party loyalty, I deeply respect him far more so than any of the Tea Party's proverbial jackbooted thugs.

    June 5, 2013 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  23. Skarphace

    It is obvious that Republicans do not want politicians that do what is best for the country. They only want partisan politicians who will spew hateful rhetoric regardless of merit.

    I see more and more free thinking Republicans being pushed out of their party in the next few years as the Tea Party continues to drag the Republicans down into the muck of history like the Whigs.

    Hate, fear, propaganda, hypocracy: these are all the Teapublicans have left.

    June 5, 2013 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  24. Taco muncher

    What's stupid about it? A fair minded, high-profile GOP politician? Sounds a lot better than the likes of Palin, Bachman and the rest of the bunch in my mind... Not that it's rocket-science but Christie is an astute politician who might just have a shot at the POTUS in 2016. Even diehards will figure out that a candidate needs to be able to win a few ill states in the NE. Christie is the only candidate who will have a shot against Hillary.

    June 5, 2013 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  25. Hogarth

    I applaud the Governor's decision. It was – using the old, better meaning of the word – politic of him to do so. He didn't usurp the people's will by appointing someone to fill out the full term that they might not have elected. Rather than being an electorate of one, he thought it better for the people to choose, and he is right.
    I haven't made a study of what this man has said and done in the past, but I'm sitting up and paying attention now.

    June 5, 2013 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
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