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. foregone conclusion

    Sorry, Dick, Christie's move is savvy.

    June 5, 2013 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  2. Al-NY,NY

    anytime someone in the GOP whines about their own members, it's a good thing. I wonder if any of the other Trolls are going to chime in with their nonsensical blather

    June 5, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  3. Wayne

    Yes to DarqueSide's comment. I questioned Christie's decision until I heard that Dick Armey called him stupid. Now I believe Christie must have done the right thing.

    June 5, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    Let's talk a bit about Dick Armey's integrity:

    For years, Armey spoke out against the minimum wage, claiming that it actually cost jobs. He used as an example, a janitor he knew while an Economics professor at Texas A&M. The janitor, named Jose, stopped coming to work, and when Armey saw him a few months later, Jose claimed he was let go because they raised the minimum wage and could not longer afford to keep him. A reporter dug into the story because Armey repeated it so often, and discovered that there never was a janitor at the university with that name: when confronted with these facts, Armey admitted he made the story up, but maintained the underlying facts about the minimum wage were true. Armey is willing to lie about anything to get his ideological points across, and facts be damned. He has no business commenting on a school baord vote, much less a special election and a Senate appointment.

    June 5, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  5. Humanist999

    The only person who appears dibilitatingly stupid is Duck Armey, for telling us all how increadibly unethical he is, and that he has absolutely no compulsion to do what's in the best interest of the country he serves. Thanks Dick... your comments speak volumes.

    June 5, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  6. ruducky2

    Dick Armey is correct. No democrat would ever be his friend. Chris Christie on the other hand.... Integrity and honest statesmanship (as opposed to party partisanship) might get him enough of the moderates in the middle to pull off a run for the presidency.

    June 5, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  7. Rosslaw

    Who sought out Dick Armey's comments on this anyway? And more important, why?

    June 5, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  8. Kenny Bania

    Hey Armey and other Reps who are bashing Christie. Ever thought it is about the people and not 'loyalty to party'? Christie is more of an American and patriot than any of you.

    June 5, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  9. Name

    Kudos to Gov Christie for the apparently (according to Dick Armey) stupid act of allowing the represented to choose their representative. Armey clearly believes party politics should trump democratic processes. Glad he's comfortably out to pasture. NIH should investigate cloning Gov. Christie, what a shock it would be to have a troop of politicians focused on their people, not their party.

    June 5, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  10. bczu

    Dick Armney, is whats wrong with politics.

    June 5, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  11. Sue

    Well, if anyone should know about debilitating stupidity it is Dick Armey. He has been debilitated by his stupidity for his entire adult life and there is no sign of letting up. Maybe Dick should keep his mouth shut and crawl back into his Texas hole.

    June 5, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  12. truthfulgiant

    Smart decision, and Armey's just wrong. Democrats will and do support moderate Republicans that show that they want to do the right thing. That's why the Democrats often struggle to get bills passed when they have the majority. They simply don't always get the whole party to support the issue. Republicans, on the other hand, always insist that their party vote the party line – whether it is the right thing to do or not. It's about winning to them, not representation.

    Want proof? Christie is a Republican governor in a mostly Democratic state. Yet, after reaching out to praise the President for his Hurricane Sandy support, his popularity soared in the state. The man is shrewd, smart, and obviously a statesman.

    June 5, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  13. bdby

    Good for you Gov Christie, you show that you can make decision independently of what any party thinks. That is what the people of this country needs right now.

    June 5, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  14. nickysmiles

    Oh I TOTALLY agree with Armey. Please, Republicans, whatever you do continue to follow the Tea Party lead. They know EXACTLY how to win elections. America just loves the Tea Party, they will be in power before you know it.


    June 5, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  15. Stephen

    There you have it – take the "political opportunity" over playing fair any day. In plain English, the opposite of playing fair is cheating, but we patriot politicians don't call it that, praise the lord.

    June 5, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  16. Jacob Ransone

    Chris Christie is a talented politician.....but that's what he is. All this garbage about "principals" make one want to puke. He thinks of one person - himself - and his political numbers in virtually every decision he makes. His jokes for Letterman are written in anticipation of how it will look just sufficiently self-depracating to get the right amount of laughter. His photo ops with the President are meant to look earnest, stridently non-partisan. Even his decision for fat-reduction surgery is calibrated as a "family decision..." He's really very good at it. The problem is the country is sinking under the weight of Obama-government-creep and every man, woman and child knows it and this idiot just voided the one spot he had to slow down the destruction and he made the wrong choice. Every Republican in the country should mark him off their list and not give him a single dime. Let him convert to the other party and see how he does.

    June 5, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  17. Steve

    Cristie has so far painted himself as being a reasonable Governor , since Sandy anyway. No one will ever accuse Army of being reasonable. Everything he does is a plot to divide the electorate and confuse the voter. He was responsible for the debacle at town hall debates when he bused in AstroTurf groups to shout down speakers. He's despicable.

    June 5, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  18. Mark

    Armey's first name speaks for itself.

    June 5, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  19. Jamy

    Not a Christie fan, but this is the fair decision to make. Appointing a republican just because he can over a senate seat a democrat held for MANY MANY years is not right. Make it open, let the voters decide because WE PUT THESE POLITICIANS IN THEIR SEATS and go from there, regardless democrat or republican. Republicans have taken this "party of no" approach, they're persecuted, everyone is after them, they won't compromise and I am not saying Democrats are good either, but there has to be a happy medium somewhere and Christie seems to be more about what is best for him and not for his troubled party.

    June 5, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  20. Dallas

    One thing we should be grateful for is that Mr. Armey is no longer in Congress. He's one to talk about debilitating stupidity after some of the inane comments he's made over the years. Gov. Christie did the right thing – putting the people of his state first over any political gain he might have gotten from the tea baggers if he had appointed one of them to fill the term until November 2014. I am a democrat but I applaud Gov. Christie!

    June 5, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  21. babooph

    Armey has always been a low life stooge,Christie is the hope for a non delusional republican re birth..

    June 5, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  22. DonN

    Republicans, he probably couldn't find a Republican who wasn't a Tea Bagger cave in – which is to say, a Republican with integrity.

    June 5, 2013 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  23. SV

    I'd say Christie has already made a bunch of friends Dick Armey would never get. And that, more than anything, is what has him feeling oh so uncomfortable. If someone like Christie can swing the obstructionist party back towards the center it will further reveal Armey for the tool he is.

    June 5, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  24. askdavey

    chubby started out dis respecting our potus........then he needed his help so he chummed up.........now his party of ignorance hates hime for what ?hee should just go away and he would do better in private practice........he will loose the next run at it so why not start practiving law again........and not the gop law ,, we all know how that turns out......flip flop flip flop flip flop

    June 5, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  25. maine liberal

    Dick what happened to the TP mantra of let the people decide not the government

    June 5, 2013 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
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