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. Thatguy371

    This coming from a wacky guy whose name sounds like the title of a grade b triple x film. (face palm) Christie is doing a good thing here, but the 'stonewall t-partiests' don't like it.

    June 5, 2013 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  2. Skarphace

    Christie took note of what happened to Romney. The Tea Party pulled Romney to the right, but when he refused to come all the way right, they turned their backs on him and made him look like a hypocrite when he started courting moderate votes out of desparation.

    Christie will not make that same mistake. All other moderate Republicans should take his cue. If the Republican Party is going to ever gain national power again, they will have to let the Kock/Norquist/NRA Tea Party go and form their own party and focus the Republican Party on what is best for the country once again, as they did under Reagan. They need to become compassionate conservatives once again or die a slow death as the Tea Party's death grip gets stronger.

    June 5, 2013 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  3. danielwalldammit

    Cause of course the GOP has treated Christie well lately. he certainly owes them all the unqualified support they can get.

    June 5, 2013 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  4. Bamador

    Armey is an idiot. Probably why he is a FORMER House member, the tea party affiliation doesn't help either.

    The PEOPLE elected a Democratic Senator, the PEOPLE should get a Democrat to fill in as interim. I would say the same if it was a Republican congressman that passed and it was a Democratic Governor making the decision.

    June 5, 2013 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  5. Cortanis

    Funny that the Republican party is chimeing in on this for this reason. Last I heard anything about it, public approval of their jobs even by other Republican citizens was at one of the lowest points for the party. What's more, these are Democrat districts. You think seating a Rep. would go over well with his state and wouldn't be challenged in some way? Simply put, he made the correct decision by letting the public decide rather than some partison office decision. If he does run for president like people are predicting, it will curry a bit more favor from the swing states in a national election.

    June 5, 2013 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  6. Skarphace

    Freedom Storm: "It is a governor's responsibility to appoint a new US Senator in such a case, and it sometimes requires courage. Responsibility and courage. Christie lacks both. Politically dead."

    So you would be here praising Christie if he appointed a Democrat to replace the Democrat that the Senate lost?

    Didn't think so. Once again, Tea Party = hypocrites.

    June 5, 2013 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  7. Jon Gray

    Holding the special election one month before the general election soils any perception ofmChristiemdoing th right, or fair, thing. It's way too transparent – he's trying to have his cake and eat it too.

    June 5, 2013 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  8. Schmoogalicious

    Republicans know they can't win in a fair election.

    June 5, 2013 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  9. Carlos

    Dumb move. Democrats would put in another democrat regardless of what anyone thinks. Democrats won't vote for him no matter what he does. Say "bye-bye" to any chance you may have had for the presidency.

    June 5, 2013 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  10. Marc Florida

    Christie's action is just a stark example of how the right-wing has soured the R party for rational Republicans. The perception that the R party chooses party over country will continue to cost them in future elections. I congratulate Christie for his courage to take on the current R party culture.

    June 5, 2013 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  11. Michael

    Bravo to Christie for taking the conservative approach and allowing the voters to choose someone as soon as possible instead of being like Blagojevich trying to sell it to the highest bidder.

    June 5, 2013 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  12. Skarphace

    SCBAMA: "Liberals...Fantasy land is this way....->"

    To the far right? For once, we agree.

    June 5, 2013 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  13. Damb S

    Another reason why he is such a Dick. Americans are getting killed by Republicans like him.

    June 5, 2013 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  14. wade

    GO CHRISTIE YOU ROCK! To he** with all the rest of you insane losers.

    June 5, 2013 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  15. S1N

    How exactly is appointing a Republican senator to a position a Democratic senator was elected to "the right decision"? Exactly how is it stupid to take the democratic (the word, not the political party) approach and allow your constituents to decide on a replacement?

    June 5, 2013 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  16. JakeJ

    Good person to quote on politics vs policy. There is simply no a better example of debilitating stupidity than the policies of Mr. Armey.

    June 5, 2013 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  17. breed7

    So, Christie wants to do the most fair thing and let the people actually elect their representative in government. How horrible! No wonder the Republicans are upset - they prefer that things are done in the most underhanded, unintelligent and evil ways possible.

    June 5, 2013 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  18. just wondering

    So the GOP is opposed to letting Voter's decide....The Party of NO has to GO

    June 5, 2013 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  19. Ramius

    Armey makes it sound like Christie believes our planet is 6,000 years old. While 46% of the population does fit that description, and while the majority of that 46% percent are self-identified Republicans according to Gallup, Christie is the black sheep of party. That is, he doesn't consider radiocarbon dating to be a conspiracy. In fact, acknowledging that our planet is around 4.5 billion years old makes Christie something of a loner among Republicans - the majority of them, anyway.

    June 5, 2013 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  20. Phaerisee

    The GOP leadership stated that they had listened to the concerns raised by the last GOP election cycle. They then proceeded to re-elect the same Speaker, Chairman and committee chairs. Then they continued the same policies of obstructing legislation with the intent of defending against intra-party challenges from the Tea Party Right. Chris Christie seems different from that whole mess to me. As a conservative, I think the best choice would be Hillary Clinton, but Christie is starting to hold some appeal.

    June 5, 2013 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  21. rubytu

    Armey said it himself, Christie was playing fair. That's usually considered the right thing to do! Fairness is what we all want. Armey is just out there publicizing the fact that Republicans don't play fair. WTG Dick Armey. You've admitted what we've been saying all along.
    And believe me, Christie will have more friends by playing fair, than by being rovian. All that stuff is in the past, quite another era.

    June 5, 2013 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  22. LA in LA

    Amazing. It's as if no one can see the truth, This was not Christie being a statesman and purveyor of democracy. He made the most politically expedient move. Instead of making the tough decisions that all head executive officers are elected and paid to make he punted. As governor he should have appointed. Instead, he wussed out and hid his cowardice of opting not to make a decision in a cloak of democracy. Why make the tough decision when you can wuss out, call for an election, and have the sheep laud your decision for democracy.

    June 5, 2013 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  23. Name is worthless

    Dick army has lost any respect I had for playing the partisan politics game with our country. I don't like Christie, bit I respect him for allowing a special election to take place. Who cares if its republican or democrat that gets elected. At least its up to the PEOPLE to decide.

    June 5, 2013 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  24. Paul

    Christie is one of the few politicians who are doing their job correctly...looking out for the well-being of his state, not his own political favor. He was criticized after Sandy, ignored by CPAC, and now this.

    How refreshing to see a governor who really wants the best for his state.

    June 5, 2013 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  25. Name

    I would never vote for him either I can,t wait for Hillary.

    June 5, 2013 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
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