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. duane

    There is the honerable thing to do and the political thing to do. Franklly Chris Christie has taken a giant step to being honerable, which substantially beats the political. Thank god there are still some honest politicians in this world.

    June 5, 2013 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  2. Name

    I for one think this was a classy move who cares if he wins friends. It's the right thing to do.

    June 5, 2013 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  3. Name Barry

    The only thing that is 'debilitatingly stupid' are politicians, like Dick Armey, that are authorizing the polarization of this magnificent country. Chris Christie, my hats off to you for remaining moderate in your approach to political service. There are way too many politicians entertaining thier fridge elements for 'the cause'

    June 5, 2013 03:39 am at 3:39 am |
  4. Seth

    So Gov Christie makes the morally correct choice (letting the people choose their representative as was intended by the election process) and this guy judges him by what he assumes other douchebags would do. I'm an independent voter and this makes me more likely to vote for Christie if he were to run (a politician that makes a choice in the best interests of the people he represents instead of playing politics, thumbs up Gov Christie). I don't think that Armey realizes they lost the last 2 presidential elections not because republicans aren't voting for their candidate but because they are losing the votes in the middle because of a perception of bigotry against anyone other than older white heterosexual men, even if that isn't reality.

    June 5, 2013 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  5. Steve Strange

    Well if Dick Armey is upset with him, Christie must be doing something right. Guys like Christie have the potential to completely mow down the Armey's of the world and usher in a new wave of politicians who actually want to lead, and not just be politicians. He's making all the right moves. The American People are desperate for something different than the crap we've been getting for the past decade, or two, or more.

    June 5, 2013 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  6. Justin H

    Armey's comment show the fundamental disconnect between politicians and the people. He actually believes that letting the people decide is stupid, when compared to playing party politics. I'm sorry, Dick, but you have earned your name!

    June 5, 2013 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  7. gwtheyrn

    I applaud Gov. Christie for doing the right thing by his constituents rather than the expedient thing by his party. This is a Republican I could gladly vote for as president.

    June 5, 2013 03:59 am at 3:59 am |
  8. MOCaseA

    The comment "A Democratic governor would have "seized the opportunity" and appointed a senator from his own party, Armey argued Tuesday." almost made me fall out of my chair laughing! The Senator who passed away was Democratic. How is it "seizing opportunity" to appoint a person from the same party?

    No what this politician is saying is Christie didn't follow party lines and appoint a Republican to the position.

    Christie instead opted to let the people the Senator will represent to select their next representative! So tell me again how that is "debilitating stupidity."

    June 5, 2013 04:08 am at 4:08 am |
  9. craig

    I may or may not agree with Christie on a whole range of issues, but at least he did the right thing here. Unlike the folks in the GOP, he didn't worry first about the power of the party and decided to do what was right for the people of his state. In that, I applaud his actions. Dick Armey can claim that a democratic governor would do this or that, but, of course, it's all just empty noise (like almost everything from the GOP these days) because there isn't a democratic governor in this case and nobody knows what this non-existent, mystery person might or might not do. In short, he's trying to defend his own position by creating a straw man bad guy. Nice try, Dick, but we're on to your tricks and you just came across as yet another Stupid GOP talking head.

    June 5, 2013 04:14 am at 4:14 am |
  10. freedom fan

    The fat man is stupid.

    June 5, 2013 04:18 am at 4:18 am |
  11. JOE B

    Governor Christie is a good man! People like Dick Armey are what is wrong with this nation.

    June 5, 2013 04:19 am at 4:19 am |
  12. Erbusch

    This is political posturing. Armey takes the heat, which means nothing in the grand scheme of things, while Christie comes out looking like roses to the uneducated masses. The GOP is well aware of what Americans want. Chrisite is their best and only shot at the next election and in order to beat Hillary they must present a supposedly honest, trustworthy, man of the people which they have so clearly lacked in the last two elections. Christie goes from hard nosed conservative whom is unconcerned with his personal or political image to a man who recently had lap band surgery, openly glad handed the dem president, and seemingly bucks the GOP establishment at every turn. Just try and convince me that this isn't the game plan for 2016...ain't gonna happen. I personally believe this man is more slimy then Mitt.

    June 5, 2013 04:25 am at 4:25 am |
  13. That's just crazy talk

    Gov. Christie you're angering both parties, you're doing something right, keep it up!

    June 5, 2013 04:39 am at 4:39 am |
  14. Guest

    I'm a Republican and due to the lack of a worthwhile GOP candidate, I voted for Obama 2x. I could definitely see myself voting for Christie. He's a moderate and so am I.

    June 5, 2013 04:49 am at 4:49 am |
  15. Aaron

    We need more politicians that work for people and not for party. I am an independant and vote for character and ideas. Christie could very well receive my vote if he continues on this honorable path. We need to see fewer politicians and more leaders.

    June 5, 2013 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  16. sassafras

    Armey says "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." Well, with a popularity rating that is higher than any other Republican, I'd say quite a few democrats must like him. The only crazy person is Armey. After all, look where he ended up? The Tea Party. Christie still has a political career, Armey's ended long ago and I suspect, not necessarily by choice.

    June 5, 2013 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  17. Name

    this Dick person sounds confused. since when is doing the right thing Stupidity? his loyalty should be to voters, not friends at the GOP.

    June 5, 2013 05:10 am at 5:10 am |
  18. nc1965

    So He wants a special election.

    So now the "Hindenburg" is showing his true colors....One of them being gutless. Well, figuratively speaking.

    June 5, 2013 05:11 am at 5:11 am |
  19. Chris K.

    "The first rule of politics is 'Don't lose the friends you already have for the friends you're never going to get." and that is why we hate politician, spineless.

    June 5, 2013 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
  20. Amber

    Christie is flipping for all the face time with BO. Don't like him any more and certainly can't trust him any more.

    June 5, 2013 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  21. JIMM

    The stupid part was to have a special election just 2 weeks before the general election in 2013, which will cost the state $24m. He will appoint a Repub until the special election.

    June 5, 2013 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  22. The Rev Dr Sherwood Forrester

    If you're being attacked by Dick Armey, you're almost certainly doing the right thing.

    June 5, 2013 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  23. JayC

    As a NJ Democrat, I'm definitely finding a respect for Christie. We may not see eye to eye on all issue but his ability to recognize the importance of compromise is opinion a great political approach. If he can sway a black, athiest lesbian in higher-education academia with a revolutionary left-leaning politic, republicans may want to take note because I'm one of many that he is capturing.

    June 5, 2013 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  24. JayC

    As Kanye says, " I never met someone that planned to be a parent in the hood".

    June 5, 2013 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  25. Dom

    Dick Armey...A good name for the Tea Party

    June 5, 2013 05:33 am at 5:33 am |
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