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. Tom1940

    I think the Hurricane in New England blew not only Staten Island away, but Gov. Christy's common-sense.
    As to "reaching across the aisle" – he might want to call up John McCain and ask him how well that little exercise went during Pres. Obama's first term. Not so good – I believe would be the Good Senators comment. Dick Army is right.
    There is not reaching out to "friends" your never gonna get. It's just not int their genes to compromise or meet with Republicans, on anything.

    June 5, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. Engineer

    I am a Democrat and I can only say that I have such respect for the NJ Gov. He is a compassionate and down to earth person who simply wants to work for the betterment of others. You can't ask for anything more. I would also be inclined to vote for him with such views. He has many strengths and what is more precious is the fact that whatever flaws he believes he has, he is man enough to work through them and improve. That is very noble and honorable. I truly did not pay attention to Dick in this article. He made me smile. Dick's comments let me know how I need to invest and support other politicians who are like the NJ Gov in other states (and I am not referring to party affiliation, I am talking about compassion for the people as Johnny Cash would say ;).

    June 5, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. cdepusw

    Right now, Christie apepars to be the smartest guy in the room among Republicans.

    June 5, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. Saboth

    Republicans showing their true colors again. The party that is dead-set on rigging elections, gerrymandering against public opinion and disenfranchising whole nationalities. This quote says it all: "The first rule of politics is 'Don't lose the friends you already have for the friends you're never going to get." I'd think the first rule should be to write and pass laws that help your constituents, but hey, Republicans have already proved they have no interest in that, but rather spending 6 years straight simply being a pain in the backside of our uncontested, democratically-elected president.

    June 5, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  5. Gary

    "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."
    As a Democrat, I can say that Armey is exactly wrong.

    June 5, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. mr big pants

    i like this guy. He seems to be a straight shooter and fairly honest for a politician.

    June 5, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  7. Jinx9to88

    I am starting to like Christie more and more these days.

    June 5, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. Jim Gillespie

    Chris Christy is not most favorite politician, however, I have to give him credit for doing the 'fair' thing. Maybe if more of our politicians did the 'fair' or right thing; our country would be better off and we would trust them.

    June 5, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. Etta Mae

    "More proof that the Republicans continue to take the high road or as Uncle Fester says "reach aross the aisle" only to have the Demorats chop your arm off.Republicans still lose cause they would rather lose than fight dirty like the Rats."

    When have the republicans EVER taken the high road??? When have the republicans EVER reached across the aisle during this administration???? I don' t know who this guy is, but he's been drinking way too much Kool Aid.

    June 5, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. Steve

    whatever you do, DON'T LISTEN TO DICK ARMEY

    June 5, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. Robert Morales

    So Christie upset both the Democrats and the Republicans? I like him more and more!

    June 5, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  12. daedliam

    Christie is closet liberal. He always has been... it's just a matter of time before he shows his true colors.

    June 5, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. John

    If debilitating stupidity is allowing the voters to decide who takes the seat, then good for Christie. He'd win my vote if I were from New Jersey. He is a Republican I would vote for.

    Obviously, Dick Armey is concerned the Republicans won't win the seat in an election, perhaps he should be more focused on why the electorate may not vote for their candidates rather than governor Christie's decision to allow the voters to decide.

    June 5, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. Jason

    Amazing how someone can openly and brazenly equate "playing fair" to "debilitating stupidity". R or D, this is endemic to both parties and shows just how pathetic our leaders really are. As a R and a Texan, I'm for Christie who chose to "play fair". I'll support any D or R who chooses the right path over the convenient path any day.

    June 5, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. lonewolf

    The Governor did the right thing. He did what he thought was right, not what the GOP wanted. He is the Governor of New Jersey not Dick Armey. It amazes me how some in the GOP want to control any and everything and when it does not go their way, they start name calling. And people wonder why nothing gets done in Washington!

    June 5, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  16. Liberty4All

    Waaaa, you didn't do what I wanted! You have to be stupid to disagree with me!

    June 5, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  17. Fed Up Independent

    How It Should Be is on the right track. But we should take it further. Vote for any candidate that is NEITHER Democrat or Replican. The United States is NOT A TWO PARTY SYSTEM!!! We are a multiparty system. If the next election dumps those smug bought and paid for Old Guard it will shake up everyone. Govenor Christie did the right thing. If he keeps up being rational I may change my support from Hilary 2013 to Christie 2016.

    June 5, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  18. humtake

    "The first rule of politics is 'Don't lose the friends you already have for the friends you're never going to get.'"

    Really? That's the first rule of politics? Not "Serve the people" or "Do what is right for the people"? This is why the true stupidity lies with the person making the quote. Christie did right by the Democracy. That's all we can ask for.

    June 5, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. warren s.

    When I saw "debilitating stupidity" in the title of the article I thought, hmmmm, this must be another article about the tea party. Then, there it was, in the last line...The pot calling the kettle black! Armey, once again, shows us what's wrong with our government. The "My way or the highway" tea party can easily be called "The Debilitatingly Stupid, Trip them any way you can, Tea Party." Christie is one of those crossover candidates that could make a real difference. Then we see the debilitating stupidity of the tea party raising it's debilitatingly stupid head!

    June 5, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. daveinla

    I'm having Christie fatigue. Go away. William Howard Taft your not.

    June 5, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. Roger

    I'm a Republican and I think Christie is what the old Communists, and current Democrats, would call "a useful idiot."

    June 5, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  22. vp

    Dick Armey is out for himself & his party, not his country.

    June 5, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  23. Marc L from NY

    What Armey stated is the truth that people refuse to believe. I am not saying he was right or wrong about his criticism of Christie, but he is correct about the nature of politics. Whether people want to accept it or not, that is their choice to accept reality for what it is, or for what they think it should be.

    June 5, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  24. Ken

    Wake up People – Really "... he seems to have the diplomatic skills of a bull in a China shop". Perhaps you've been sleepiing or in a coma for the last 5 years. I don't know about you, but I'm sick and tired of politics as usual. Our system is broken and Christie is actually a breath of fresh air.

    June 5, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  25. nomoretraitors

    My question is why appoint someone until October? Why not just appoint someone and have that person serve out the remainder of Lautenberg's term, or have the election right now?

    June 5, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
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