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. Avram

    So, in addition to being a hypocritical, disengenuous, self serving pol, we see that Texas Governor Rick Perry doesn't even have the courage to take responsibility for his own irresponsible comments. When Governor Perry refers to "Washington thumbing it's noses" at the people, I assume he's referring to Republican President George W. Bush, his team of incompetant cronies, and the Republicans who controlled Congress for most of the last eight years, since they are the ones who ran the economy into the ground and mortgaged our future with the biggest runup in the national debt and the national budget deficit in history.

    April 17, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  2. Robert

    Whatever... We all know what you meant.

    April 17, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. Jeremy

    Actually, Texas never had the right to secede. The Houston Chronicle ran the story the day after he made his original comments. Texas had the right to break into 4 new states should it desire. However, about 20 years later Texas seceded anyway and LOST. Even if you want to believe they had the right to do so before, they certainly lost that right in the surrender agreement.

    Not to mention that if Texas did try and secede, and even if the US government didn't use military force to intervene, do you honestly think nothing would happen? The embargo Texas would be hit with would make Iran and Cuba look like free trade zones, the off-shore oil would be seized since Texas doesn't have a military in its own right, every major corporation would leave because they couldn't do business, etc... The state would be broken, bankrupt, and powerless to do anything about it except apologize and ask to brought back into the US. Mexico sure as hell isn't going to help. They need US money too badly.

    April 17, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  4. RC

    What get's me is that most most are blaming Obama. We had 8 years of GW all look what that got us. I am not saying that Obama has done everything right. I don't believe in bailing the rich out but tell me where will the jobs come from. We all have to take the blame for what's going on. Mr Perry is wanting the Fed to say out of his states business but when something major happens like a hurricane who does he cry to for help. Next time you get hit with a hurricane take care of it your self and don't ask the Fed for help. Just see how far you will get then.

    April 17, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. rick

    Obama has become the most polarizing president in the US history...he obviously failed to bring all parties together and failed to take control of Pelosi, Reid and the left. I can see how this will happen in the near future if Obama dont get his act together...he needs to get some backbone

    April 17, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  6. Margaret in NC

    Does this governor think he's been crowned king? Sounds like treason to me. What do they do with traitors in Texas?

    April 17, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  7. revolution

    Texas the only state where it's still legal to think for yourself.
    And taking care of your friends and family is not looked down on.
    We still sing God Bless America, and believe it!

    Don't back off Governor keep kickin butt and taking names.
    I'm an enemy of the state now so we may as will succeed.
    If the guy in front of you driving his car off a cliff, there's no need to follow him.

    It's our right as the state of Texas to succeed it's in our state Constitution.

    April 17, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  8. Steve A. , New Braunfels , Texas

    If Texas secedes I'll have to move, I want my social security , btw , I could be wrong but does New Hampshire also have certain rights, Texas will not secede, it's all a bunch of republican BS. There are a lot of rich spoiled brats in this state and they are just pouting and whinning. If you took all the property owned by CEO's and POLITIANS out of Texas it would be about the size of Main.

    April 17, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  9. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    "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."
    ________________________________________________________

    If you read this and think that he just said that Texas should secede you are grasping at straws. I want one of you libs to explain how saying "We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it" Is Anti-American. If anything it is pro-American. He shot down the Idea of secession and said, "But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that." suggesting that other actions were possible.
    Boy you dems must be getting desperate.

    April 17, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  10. dwl

    When Richard Perry says a government not responsive to the people what he really means is a government that is not under Republican control. Tell him to look at the polls, more people agree with what President Obama is doing. If Perry is unable to figure it out more people means a majority. Which means the people win and the closed minded republicans lose.

    April 17, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  11. Kristin

    Treason!!!
    I call for Perry to be drawn and quartered!!

    "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court."

    I believe he has confessed.

    April 17, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. Mary Wolf

    Texas school children now are forced to say a pledge of allegiance to Texas by virtue of our Republican-dominated state legislature. An incredible waste of time unless we are trying to raise a generation of secessionists! Perhaps we have missed the real master plan of the DeLay/Perry gang.

    April 17, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  13. Mike

    I'd like to see him come over here to Ft. Hood and give that speech.

    April 17, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  14. Expat American

    'Country First'...?

    hahahahaha.

    April 17, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  15. Stephen R.

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

    Really? Is it Anti-American to suggest that the people of this nation should not talk of action or even make bold statements that imply they are "upset" about the actions of our government.
    Is it Anti-American to talk of sucession when this nation was created by people that decided to leave one country that had taken them and their voices for granted.
    Is it Anti-American to question the very actions of a current government that has decided to ac t " in our best interests" and spend TRILLIONS of dollars to help rescue this nation that has lost a sense of not only moral, but personal and social responsibility?
    I thought this government was designed for "We the people" not what is best "For the people"?
    No it is not Anti-American to question or say these things, in fact it is a revival to what being an American is really all about!!

    April 17, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  16. pac

    I expect more of this. The Republican party is dying and they just might try to tear the union down as they go down. Must have been a good news day for our enemies around the world.

    April 17, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  17. Dave

    I can respect people who protest our government for infringements of rights. I have no respect for seditious and blatantly offensive comments like this. We are all in this problem together – Democrats, Republicans, Independents, liberals, conservatives, and moderates. We need to stop acting like children – case in point Governor Perry – and start acting like adults to solve this problem.

    April 17, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  18. Chas in Iowa

    Let his bunch of malcontents break away in their own union. They could elect Bush President and start their own little country.

    April 17, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  19. Charles

    Governor Perry and other republicans are pandering to the most extreme right wingers. They should try something constructive for a change.

    April 17, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  20. Jim

    Gov. Perry, you did not go out and say Texas will sucede. However, you clearly implied that if Washington continued its actions in a mannor that Texas did not like then Texas would sucede from the Union.

    Here's your quote since you seem to be forgetting it in its entirety: "There's a lot of different scenarios. 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. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot."

    April 17, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  21. S.M

    He mean't exactly what he said. If he secedes from the United States than his country will be a sitting duck for their next door neighbor.

    Why didn't he put this on the table when former president Bush was dragging this country through the sewer? Sounds to me as if he has been taking stupid advice from Gov. Palin.

    If you secede from the United States and have already taken the Stimulus package, than give it back!

    April 17, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  22. Robert

    I think what he said was reasonable. Government is not listening, but I think it is a better idea to use our Right to Bear Arms – Then use them to fulfill another right, in that when the Government becomes corrupt – REPLACE IT!!! Problem is, we sold America to Big Business, let them sell our Manufacturing which is on the way to eliminating the Middle Class (which is the American Dream). Un-Amarican? I think it is what America was built to be, a country run For and By the People. I am sure those who think everything is fine, are the People who sold America to Big Business, Banks and Wall Street. Now those who want it back are the "freaks"? Give me a break – Baby Boomers turned their back on America to make thier own gains of Houses, Boats, Cars and TVS. They taught their children to act the same, but now some of us are waking up to realize – Our Grandparents new whats right, now they are spinning in thier grave 100mph, while the youth is starting to see where our parents led us wrong!!!

    April 17, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  23. Mike

    I'm from Illinois and want to move to Texas. This guy rocks!! Dead on!

    April 17, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  24. sms29s

    I think the best idea came from someone on The Ed Show last night: Let them secede and then start worrying. After all, the United States is known for invading oil-rich nations.

    April 17, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  25. Tim

    If need be, I'm already packed and willing to become a "TEXAN"...

    April 17, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
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