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. Lizard Lance

    Who asked Dick Armey for his opinion? Why do these relics of failed Republican policies such as Armey, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, and Newt Gingrich keep flapping their gums? I wish they'd go away!

    June 5, 2013 05:48 am at 5:48 am |
  2. Lee

    I thought the headline was a statement. My mistake.

    June 5, 2013 05:57 am at 5:57 am |
  3. justin gardner

    Its refreshing to leave it up to the people.

    June 5, 2013 05:57 am at 5:57 am |
  4. Andy H.

    Clearly he did the common sense thing. Of course the tea party nutters aren't happy, but then again, when are they ever??

    June 5, 2013 05:58 am at 5:58 am |
  5. Jason

    Dick Army isn't known for being the brightest bulb either so its kind of funny to hear him call anyone else stupid.

    June 5, 2013 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  6. W.

    If Dick Armey is crying fowl then Gov. Christie is doing something right. I may not vote for the Governor, or ever care to visit New Jersey, but he has shown remarkable skill and courage in the face of adversity, and he has persevered as a strong leader for his state. Governor Christie should always put the interests of his people ahead of any party and their mouthpieces; at least as much as I have seen in the media. The latter is always suspect.

    June 5, 2013 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  7. cloudfactor5

    "All Christie has to do is appoint a Republican. That's the correct move for him to make," Armey said. This shows just out of touch politicians are !! The correct move should obviously be to appoint someone who would best serve the people, seems that doesn't count for much these days.

    June 5, 2013 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  8. Scott

    Christie is doing what he feels is best for the citizen's of his state, a person can not ask for more. Christie has always put his citizens before politics. He is one of the good ones, to bad more are not like him. We would not be in the situation we are in now.

    June 5, 2013 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  9. Scott


    If the gov thinks that Dems will vote for him for Pres he is stupid. He's far too conservative for me
    No one cares what you think.

    June 5, 2013 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  10. rez

    Wow so republicans are jumping on his case for giving New Jersey voters a right to choose?

    June 5, 2013 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  11. Dennis

    How rare these days to see a politician who cares to do the right thing for the people he/she represents. If only there were more who acted this way.

    June 5, 2013 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  12. rez

    I got to tell you I've been very impressed with christie over the last few years. This move is just another one to add to the list. This guy makes decisions based on morals not political games.

    June 5, 2013 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  13. Billy B.

    Chris Christie is the only republican I would vote for. This country needs leaders not party hacks running it. Dick Armey is a right wing idiot just like so many others out there.

    June 5, 2013 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  14. Ord_Miller

    "...of the people, by the people, for the people..."

    Mr. Army, con-servative sleaze, can not comprehend.

    June 5, 2013 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  15. Nicdy3

    Not to point out the obvious, but the voters there did elect a Democrat and not a Republican. For Christie to appoint a Republican would be a direct contradiction to what the voters want. What he did was spare himself as much anger from those on the right as possible by not appointing a Democrat–seems like a move made more out of fear. Letting the voters decide is the right thing to do.

    June 5, 2013 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  16. Richard Lemming

    People should understand that Democrat and Republican are just brand names, like Coke and Pepsi, people root for their side like sports and the politicos love it, they really do. We now have the main stream media playing blue and red to further support that sports like atmosphere,are you kidding me? Seriously, Christie is showing his true side, he will flip flop to what ever side he feels/thinks the voters will vote for him, he is not a conservative he is a politician. Since Republicans are Democrats are politicians they wont do anything about it they all are in cahoots together.

    June 5, 2013 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  17. Bob

    Nice to know that Dick Armey is still alive and unwell.

    June 5, 2013 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  18. RMFSF

    Armey suggests that political expedience trumps the people of New Jersey selecting their own representative – interesting that he then envisions Christie as the one committing "debilitating stupidity". Armey and his kind define
    the cancer that is destroying American politics – miopic, self-serving, opportunistic, ego-centric, ultra right-wing
    blindness to the simplest expression of the "will of the people". Let's not forget his co-conspirators Bachman, Palin, etc.,and their imagined list of woes. Please !

    June 5, 2013 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  19. Db3311

    It's not hard to read between the lines on Armey's comments and see exactly where the average American stands in the eyes of the majority of our politicians, both democrats and republicans...It's a shame that its become the norm now for politicians to criticize other politicians for making "fair" decisions.

    June 5, 2013 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  20. Rob

    Actually, that is not too bad. The Republican party is on the verge of either a major overhaul or face extinction. Things like bipartisanship, immigration reform, and gun control are the only things that can save the party. I do think the Republicans will recover one day. Christie is also demonstrating democratic values. I am curious to see what he does in future.

    June 5, 2013 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  21. John g.

    I'm a democrat and would take a close look at Christie if he were to run for president. He should run as an independent, clearly he is not a party toadie and bases his decision on principle not politics.

    June 5, 2013 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  22. Ho Hum

    Christie is saying let the people decide. The republican hatemongers just want to force republicanism down out throats. By the rules, Christie can and did call for a special election. A republican or a democrat can be elected. Democracy, what a concept republicans! The crazier the GOP gets with their insane conservative wackiness, the faster they are going into extermination. Right now, I have nothing but contempt for the GOP

    June 5, 2013 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  23. Thomas

    Its called integrity. Armey would not understand.

    June 5, 2013 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  24. Dave Richman

    Cristie acted like a servant of the people. Rare thing to see in our current political climate.

    June 5, 2013 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  25. Ken Smith

    Wow! What a novel idea! Allowing the voters to select their representative rather than than allowing the political hacks to put their shill in place to tow the party line.

    June 5, 2013 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
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