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. Pete

    @Bubba,hate to burst your bubble pal but republicans have no one that can hang with Hillary,Christie included..Almost all women,men,minorities,seniors and others can't wait till she accepts a nomination from the democrates ..Bubba you know its over if she accepts and you and others the so called conservatives better wait another 8 years because Hillary will have these 8 in her back pocket!!

    June 5, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. ART

    By the way I just have to say Ted Cruz is one of the most dangerous people in Government. No one that ignorant and stupid should be allowed to run for office ,I consider him to be nothing more than an enemy to our country and an embarrassment to the state of Texas

    June 5, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  3. Jim8

    Someone is demonstrating their stupidity. Who was it that called the Republican's the stupid party?

    June 5, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. Adam

    Way to go Gov. Having an election to determine what the people of your state, whom this person will represent, want rather than appointing someone on party lines is a bold move and the right thing to do. I respect that no matter who does it.

    June 5, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  5. Jon (not Huntsman :)

    I make it a point not to vote for memebers of political parties. Christie doesn't act like a party member. If he's the Republican candidate in 2016, I might vote for him. (If he runs as an independent, I definitely will.)

    June 5, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. Debilitating Like A Fox

    All politics is local and Christie made a decision that is NOT debilitating from his perspective. While it might not be good for the GOP from a national perspective, it probably makes good sense for Christie from a state perspective. Republicans need to stop attacking leaders from more moderate & liberal states. To win a national election, the tent needs to be bigger not smaller. Christie appeals to moderates, independents, and possibly some liberals.

    June 5, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  7. Rustydog42

    I is quite clear to me that both democrats and republicans are much more interested in trying to be "different" from each other than governing through compromise.
    A governor has the duty to fill the seat, and this option is a good one.
    I am sure that if the governor was a democrat, and the deceased senator a republican, the democrats would be up in arms too if they thought another republican could win the vacant senate seat.

    June 5, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. TIM

    "Being fair is debilitating stupidity" Way to show your true colors to the public!

    June 5, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  9. kevin

    "don't lose the friends you have...?" The same ones who held up Sandy relief...good friends indeed.

    June 5, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. Locker

    How great is it that so much of the GOP base think Christie is a RINO? He's the ONLY candidate that had a prayer against Obama and going forward but they take him right out of the game. You far right wing nuts make it so easy for us by isolating yourselves in a little closet where you can only hear your own voices. Thank you!

    June 5, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. Hamburger Jones

    " I would instantly vote Armey out of office." He doesn't hold any office. He's just very, very RICH. Remember the Golden Rule: Whoever has the Gold makes the Rules.
    "GOP fanatic believes that the Govenor was stupid because instead of playing politics" You must remember that these childish and superstitious people believe implicitly that every Democrat is an al-Qaeda agent dedicated to America's destruction. I am not making fun or kidding. They ACTUALLY believe this, and you can't tell them any different or beg them to apply common sense because they have been persuaded by emotional propaganda. So don't blame them.

    June 5, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. bronco

    Army states the character of the Republican party, loud and clear. It is politics over policy. It is evident in almost everything they do, even to the point of obstructing and defeating proposals that they supported only a few years ago.

    June 5, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  13. nikkonikki

    Christie is such a breath of fresh air. He continues to do and say the right thing. I am a Dem and love Christie. I love any politician who chooses common sense and public good – over party politics. Another plus in the Christie column!!!

    June 5, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. Will S

    "if he thinks the Democrats are going to love him for being the guy who plays fair rather than takes the political opportunity"

    That quote from former House Majority Leader Dick Armey neatly sums up the Republican mindset: To heck with Doing the Right Thing; What's in it for Me?

    Christie is right-moderate, just like Clinton is left-moderate. Those are the sort of people this country needs to move forward. The extremes take you nowhere.

    June 5, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. Michael A. (Wake Forest, NC)

    Such an appropriate name... "Dick Armey"

    June 5, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  16. Cynic

    Nice to see a man of honor and integrity who doesn't ask for party affiliations before he makes a decision or expresses an opinion.
    Christie would be a great presidential candidate for the Republican party in 2016, but he won't even be considered because he hasn't kissed enough Republican Establishment behind.

    June 5, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Hamburger Jones

    As if Christie has a chance of running for ANY office again! Not only did he spend our hard-earned tax money on some New Joisey mooks, but he missed a chance to leave people freezing in the dark and blame Obama. You know, children might have died if he had delayed, and then it would be on Obama, right? So forget him. When his term is up, he's over. Party First, and America last, amirite?

    June 5, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. Peter

    Looks like Gov Christie has found his Sister Souljah moment.

    June 5, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. Scott M.

    "Don't lose the friends you already have for friends you're never going to get"... Well, that certainly sounds like a threat. Why do Republicans think they can bully everyone, including their own members? Haven't they realized that we're no longer on the playground, and that fear does not give you power? Those tactics may work in places like North Korea but they don't work here. And reading these message boards, Gov. Christie has made some friends, particularly on the other side of the aisle. The republicans keep talking about rebranding and rebooting or whatever, but all it really takes is honesty, fair play and putting aside partisan politics.

    June 5, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. Herchato

    Armey a great spokesman for the GOP!

    June 5, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  21. alan

    As a life long republican I am tired of the political banter from both parties. Do what is best for America not the party. Applaud Gov. Christie. Do the right thing.

    June 5, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  22. Not As Stupid As You

    Interesting ....the 'former' House majority leader telling someone how to act...sounds a lot like a 'former' V.P. who keeps telling us how the current President should act...just go away quietly, please. We don't want to hear from you.

    June 5, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  23. Mel Stricker

    When everyone hates what you do then you are definitely doing the right thing. Christie for President.

    June 5, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. Pam

    How refreshing to see someone do the right thing regardless of what party he belongs to, or his rationale for doing it. I am truly stunned, but if he is just looking for votes, he just got mine.

    June 5, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. rhobere

    "A Democratic governor would have 'seized the opportunity' and appointed a senator from his own party, Armey argued Tuesday."

    I follow that quote with another:

    "That word you keep using, I do not think you know the meaning of it."

    A DEMOCRATIC governor would choose the option that best expresses democracy. In other words, if one option is to allow citizens of a common wealth to vote for their leaders and the others options are to allow an elite member of society to indescriminantly appoint someone of his desired ideologies, you choose the voting option. I feel like this is primary school stuff, yet this guy runs our country.

    June 5, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
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