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. Dude

    If the Democrats would have used the opportunity to appoint a Democrat, then the Republicans would have called foul and insisted that this should be an election.

    Kudos to Christie for being better than that.

    If more politicians did the right thing, rather than the party thing, Congress would have approval rating higher than Karl Marx. Currently, more Americans believe that communism is a good idea, than approve of Congress. And it is "party before country" that is doing it.

    June 5, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  2. Crillan

    "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.'"

    This illustrates the exact opposite of what politicians are elected to do. If the first rule of politics is to get reelected and not serve the people, then you shouldn't be in politics. He's basically saying that because Christie did the right thing by letting the people choose, that he's not doing his job. But then below, he says that Christie was playing politics with the decision and not focusing on policy:

    "People that run for office in politics make political decisions rather than policy decisions often commit debilitating stupidity," Armey said.

    In the same interview, he accuses Christie of playing politics and not playing politics with the same decision. I don't even think Dick Armey knows what he's trying to say.

    June 5, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  3. DB Cooper

    Dick Armey? Is he still relevant? Well, I guess if anyone knows "debilitating stupidity", it would be Dick.

    June 5, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  4. nomoretraitors

    "Rather than letting the VOTERS decide, the GOP wants to forcibly stick one of their own stooges into that position"

    I think it's pretty common practice for the governor of any state to appoint someone to fill out the remainder of a Congressional term should the office be unexpectedly vacated. And it's also common practice for that governor to appoint someone from their own party.

    And as far as "dirty tricks" go, the NJ Democrats have that arena sewed up tight, putting Lautenberg on the ticket on '02 after Torricelli, who they knew had ethics problems, withdrew past the deadline to replace somone on the ballot.

    June 5, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. Ordinary Average American

    Right on, Governor Christie! You're awesome!

    June 5, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. nomoretraitors

    "modern GOP's utter contempt for "We the People" in favor of protecting the party at all costs"

    I think that describes the Obama "administration" perfectly

    June 5, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. don keller

    Cristie keeps getting in trouble with the republicans.. Why ? well, first when his state was smashed by a hurricane he did a great job of managing the disaster, but he welcomed Obama's help.
    Now, he has decided to let the people decide who their next senator will be..
    Wow, wtf -does he think we live in a democracy or something ? .. And REALLY, he took help from Obama. !!!!
    the nerve... throw the bum out for letting the voters decide and doing the right thing in an emergency..
    the next time you hear a republican say it's the democrats fault that Washington is grid locked, remember who's whining about putting politics aside and getting something done.

    June 5, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. nomoretraitors

    "This is called "reaching across the aisle"

    If a Democrat does it, he/she is called a traitor

    June 5, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  9. Jim8

    Christie is obviously smarter than the rest of his party.

    June 5, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  10. yogi

    Jack Hollis
    No intelligent conversation here, as usual.
    So Jack why do you come here? to show everyone how intelligent you are? There are actually many intelligent posts here, but reading them might be a stretch for you. The vast majority is in agreement here with the right decision of gov. Christie, but don't confuse that with lack of intelligence.

    June 5, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  11. Mangomano

    Washington insiders are so out of touch with reality that they cannot possibly even conceive of – gasp – letting the voters decide who gets to be Senator!! Nor can they conceive of the governor of a storm-ravaged state working across the isle with a President to get things done. Its sad that any action that does not rank of partisanship is immediately labeled as 'stupid'.. sigh; what has out government become?

    June 5, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  12. Glauber

    Why does anyone still listen to Dick Armey??? Why even go to him for a comment? He is one of the many faces that became what was very wrong with the GOP a while back, along with his good buddy, the unscrupulous Phil Gramm.

    June 5, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. judith

    The commenter above is quite correct. Armey is a tea-party clown. The Republicans all despise Christie because he did the unthinkable: actually gave President Obama some credit. The GOP can't stand any show of bi-partisanship or cooperation. All they want to do is deliver Obama's head on a platter. They are truly conservatives without a conscience, a moral or a shred of true patriotism.

    June 5, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  14. Vince

    Mr. Christie selecting a republican is not the correct thing to do Mr. Armey. As a voter in the state of NJ, I'd like to pick my own senator...not have one appointment for me by an official. Mr. Christie is an elected official, not a monarch.

    June 5, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  15. Caiha

    Yep, no shocker here. Corrupt to the core. Someone tries to play fair they're called stupid. Only way to fix it is to flush it all away...

    June 5, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. DW

    So Christie chooses a date that's NOT this year's election day (a Tuesday in November), nor next year's Nov. election day to fill a senate seat. Instead it's a Wednesday in October, a move designed to limit (Democrat) turnout and avoid voter 'confusion' w/re his OWN reelection in Nov. Sounds like a pretty savvy (and definitely politically motivated) move to me. Clearly, his purpose here is NOT to reach across the aisle, but to assure his own reelection.

    June 5, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. Dan

    It's funny how so many people think Christie is being noble for letting the people decide, but he's in part doing it this way for his own re-election. If he appoints someone, the timing of the special election would coincide with that of the election for governor, and turnout could very well favor his opponent.

    June 5, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. lewwho

    So Dick Armey is admitting that republicans are opportunitsts that don't consider fairness. The truth just slips out and they wonder why they can't connect with the average voter. Where are the reasonable republicans of yesterday? Now they're extreme right wing fundamentalists. If I ddn't know better, I could be describing terrorists.

    June 5, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. Craboo

    Wow, a politician acting in a manner fair to the people that voted for him!!! What a breath of fresh air.

    June 5, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  20. Gilbert Moore

    Dick Armey's comments about Chris Christie proves that Armey is focused not on the constitutents, but on what best serves Dick Armey personally. That he is attacking Christie for allowing the people who elected every official in the country just proves that Christie gets it, and Armey doesn't.

    June 5, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  21. Scott

    Dick Army's response is not only exactly what is wrong with politics today, it show the 'debilitating stupidity' of the republican party and how completely out of touch they with American's desires that we start working together. I have voted Republican and Democratic in 6 presidential elections. I will never vote a Republican who is not a moderate, middle of the road – can't stand all the hate from the conservatives. Debilate that Mr. Army – dummy.

    June 5, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  22. The Nudge

    This is what's wrong with our country. It's not about the best person for the job anymore, it's about having a D or R after your name. Both political parties have chosen to no longer serve the people of this country.

    June 5, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  23. Lou

    Gov Christie may not have toed the party line here but Dick Armey certainly took the "Debilitatingly Stupid" route.
    Both parties have been completely worthless for a number of years now, but Dick Armey's statement puts the Republican party out front when it comes to ignorance and stupidity.

    June 5, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. ART

    When will Dick Armey crawl back under the rock from whence he came

    June 5, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. Virginia

    It has all being planned out- The liberals know the reaction Christie would have and how He'll handle this matter, they know the final outcome a " Democrat will be set inplace""" cause all the Republican will be upset with Christie for being set up by the opposition, and the vote will go to the Democrats...now who has he in place as of now a conservative, liberal, or republican, or democrat????? it matters as of now, if he has a Liberal to be the replacement, spells doomed.

    June 5, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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