April 17th, 2009
03:45 PM ET
6 years ago

Perry says secession comment misinterpreted

(CNN) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry is dialing back his earlier remark that seemed to suggest he was open to secession, telling reporters Thursday his state is "part of a great union."

"I was kinda thinking that, maybe the same people who hadn't been reading the constitution right were reading that article and they got the wrong impression about what I said," he told reporters as in the Texas State House.

"Clearly, I stated that we have a great union. And Texas is part of a great union. I see no reason for that to change. I think that may not be the exact quote, but that is, in essence what I said," he added.

Perry's original comments on the matter came Wednesday at a "Tea Party" even in Austin, when he railed against the federal government for what he said were infringements of states' rights and repeated violations of the 10th amendment of the Constitution - the provision that establishes Federalism. (Video below: Perry fires up 'Tea Party' crowd)

"There's a lot of different scenarios," Perry said Wednesday as crowd members shouted calls for secession. "We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that."

In clarifying his remarks Thursday, Perry also said he has "never been prouder of Texans" for standing up to Washington, DC.

"I think you will see more and more this type of response to a government that is rather unresponsive to the people of this country and Texas was right at the forefront of that yesterday," he said.

Meanwhile, Texas Democrats have sharply criticized Perry's original comment, calling it an "attack on our country."

"It is the ultimate anti-American statement," State Rep. Jim Dunnam of Waco told reporters Thursday.


Filed under: Rick Perry
soundoff (289 Responses)
  1. JC

    Man, he got my hopes up and just let me down like this?

    April 17, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  2. Brian

    It's too bad Texas didn't secede in 1999. The country woudln't be in half the the mess it is today.

    April 17, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  3. Chris

    Rick Perry hates America.

    April 17, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  4. Andi

    So, now the rest of us 'aren't reading the Constitution right'? Shove off, Perry. You're no better than the rest of us, and you need a grammar lesson.

    April 17, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Why is he trying to bite his tongue now? He said what he said because he meant it. You're a traitor Gov. Perry.

    The saying goes like this: If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it's a duck!

    April 17, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. obama/mama

    I'm tired of asking this question too. Where were all these rallies and bs when GWB was in office and torching the economy. Where were these scorpions?

    April 17, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  7. Anonymous

    Of course it was but the far left liberal loons don't get it! I've never know the democrats to be so utterly stupid as this generation is. My father was a die-hard democrate but he is turning over in his grave at these zealots!

    April 17, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  8. Shadysider

    I liken this to the McCain rallys where that one woman was like: "He's (obama) an Arab," and McCain had to adivise her of the truth. It's like die-hard Republican followers have allowed the party lies, their own insecurities, and they fact that their party is done as a viable party in the immediate future, go to their heads. They've pretty much lost it at this point.

    April 17, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  9. Jeff - Austin, TX

    Not only should Gov. Perry reject ALL of the 16.9 billion dollar package earmarked (pardon the pun) but he should also reject any and all federal dollars coming to Texas. The governor is the embodiment of the word hypocrite.

    Should Mr. Perry continue to insinuate that Texas should withdraw from the Union and/or not react to those who scream secede, then he is committing an act of treason and should be dealt with accordingly.

    April 17, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  10. Jerry

    A lot of us feel the same...Robert E. Lee and the Confederacy were right on. We have allowed the Feds to wreck this country and it ain't over!

    April 17, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  11. Joe the Troll

    No, please, take it back! Tell me you were serious!

    April 17, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. Samuel

    He wasn't misinterpreted.

    What I want to know is why he wasn't shouting this from the rooftops over the last 8 years when we had a would-be dictator in the White House who should now be on trial for war crimes, when this dictator took away civil liberties and violated the Constitution, when this dictator spent billions on an illegal war. Huh? Where were the secessionists then when there was a valid reason to even bring the subject up for discussion?

    April 17, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  13. Steve, Columbia SC

    You critics are not listening to the people..........they are tired of federal intrusion, big government, criminal spending habits, and the elitism in Washington, DC.

    But watch out those who are speaking up, you may be classified as "domestic right-wing terrorists".

    April 17, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  14. texan

    Yeah - right !!!!! Good ole goodhair – as we call him. Always the panderer trying to "spin' his way out of this one.

    April 17, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  15. Erik

    If this is what the Replicans have to offer then the Democrats have nothing to worry about.

    April 17, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  16. jim

    When Texas entered the union they maintained the right to succeed (in writing) they are the only state with that right.

    April 17, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  17. Nlsen

    Guess what Governor Perry? I read the Constitution and I also heard your comments and that is exactly what I interpreted what you said to mean. Don't blame the listener. You said something idiotic, own up to it.

    April 17, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  18. arithmetic is liberal

    "Clearly, I stated that we have a great union. And Texas is part of a great union. I see no reason for that to change. I think that may not be the exact quote, but that is, in essence what I said," he added.

    Actually, that's the OPPOSITE of what you said.

    I love how Governor Good Hair, who you can usually find in a $1,200 suit, was at a anti-tax rally in his "one of the guys" baseball cap and his Amedinejad-esque wind breaker.

    April 17, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  19. Karl Rove

    Sounds like treason to me, but past history shows we allow treasonous acts from politicians from this state.

    April 17, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  20. John Gibson

    Who needs them anyway? We can just move the border fence North!

    April 17, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. barbed

    The state that gave us GWB, a legacy of torture and an economy in shambles wants to secede from the union now? I wish they had done it before the 2000 election. Then they could have all those problems to themselves.

    April 17, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  22. Bea

    Yeah right Gov. Perry. I live in Texas it is not looking good for you.

    April 17, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. Expat American

    It looks like Perry wanted to moon Washington because he thought "this will show 'em"...but when he pulled down his 'britches', he realized he wasn't wearing any undies...so the only one who looks stupid, actually ends up being Perry....and the GOP/Brownshirt NeoCons who jumped up to applaud him for lack of anything else to cheer for...besides Palin going to Indiana for a free dinner (this time with utensils).

    April 17, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  24. CYATX

    Amazing! This state produces the worst president in history, ya know the one, yeah, that one...gets the USA into the worst recession since the great depression AND starts the bailout process. Everyone seems to forget, the one who started it all, comes from, and now resides, (comfortably) in Texas. Big Goverment? YOUR homeboy started it! War, Recession, Bailouts....Let TX go. seems the majority there believe they are better off than the rest...then go for it. Let's se where TX stands in a few years...Begging for bailouts money, no doubt.

    Back-Pedaling indeed. Hypocrites!

    April 17, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  25. Anonymous

    Perhaps he doesn't understand that his party lost the election. Sounds like a sore loser to me.

    April 17, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
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