July 23rd, 2010
05:59 PM ET
4 years ago

Tennessee Republican floats secession threat

Tennessee Congressman Zach Wamp argued that mandates forced on the states by the Obama administration's health care bill have put secession on the table.
Tennessee Congressman Zach Wamp argued that mandates forced on the states by the Obama administration's health care bill have put secession on the table.

(CNN) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry's suggestion in April 2009 that his state might consider secession drew a round of mockery nationwide, but his blustery populist rhetoric earned him serious traction among GOP primary voters in his re-election fight against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Perry, riding a tide of anti-Washington sentiment, went on to trounce Hutchison and another candidate in the Republican primary earlier this year.

Now another gubernatorial hopeful is test-driving a similar message.

Rep. Zach Wamp, one of three candidates seeking the GOP gubernatorial nomination in Tennessee, told Hotline OnCall that Perry had the right idea. Wamp argued that mandates forced on the states by the Obama administration's health care bill have put secession on the table.

"I hope that the American people will go to the ballot box in 2010 and 2012 so that states are not forced to consider separation from this government," Wamp told Hotline OnCall Friday.

Wamp said he hopes voters send a message in November that the federal government should "strictly adhere" to the Constitution.

"Patriots like Rick Perry have talked about these issues because the federal government is putting us in an untenable position at the state level," he told OnCall.

His primary opponents, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, both told the website they don't support secession.


Filed under: 2010 • Bill Haslam • Popular Posts • Ron Ramsey • Tennessee • Zach Wamp
soundoff (258 Responses)
  1. Andrew H

    Does he realize that thousands died in the first civil war and to speak of secession all because he doesn't like certain laws that passes congress is dispicable. That is why we have the Supreme Court to decide what's constitutional or not. If every State wants to leave the union every time they disagree with a law what good is this country. Just another idiot trying to get in office. It figures it would come from someone in the GOP

    July 23, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  2. C. Hahn

    The secession of Tennessee is a great idea – wish all southern states would secede since they're the ones who get the most tax dollars – the majority of which revenue comes from the "blue" states. Let them sink themselves economically, I say.

    July 23, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  3. Brian, NJ

    One word...traitor.

    July 23, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  4. RAG

    The resolution to this is clear. Hang the traitor. Quickly please.

    July 23, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  5. Rick

    "Patriots," LOL!

    By definition, if you are advocating secession, you are not a patriot. You can't have it both ways. You're either a patriot, or a separatist. And if you're a separatist, just leave, we don't want or need you anyway.

    July 23, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  6. Jeff

    What a moron.

    July 23, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  7. Frigger

    Wamp is a fundamentalist Christian jihadist. This is the kind of crap that moderates won't vote for.

    July 23, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  8. KImberly

    let him TRY it, these morons are unAmerican fools that need to be slapped!

    July 23, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  9. Red by Choice

    If Texas begins secession talk, I'm moving there. I live in a state that has been fiscally responsible and now it is almost a certainty that MY tax dollars will be used to bail out California, Michigan, New York and others that are failing because of their liberal spending, social agenda. Obama is a moron and the Democrats in congress have no financial sense at all. The US is in a tail spin and anyone with wealth is running for the exits. Wake up and smell the red ink!

    July 23, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. Comments4u2

    He, and Perry, should seriously be investigated for sedition. It amazes me how totally ignorant these politicians can be.

    July 23, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  11. Lawrence Leichtman

    This is tantamount to treason. It was when Rick Perry said it and it is here as well. Just in case they forgot. They lost that war 150 years ago.

    July 23, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. Macbeth

    Rick Perry is "but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing."

    July 23, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  13. Mike in Texas

    Dear Governor,

    Your state receives $1.27 in federal dollars for every dollar you send to the feds.

    Your state is a mooch state.

    At least Texas only gets back 94 cents for every dollar.

    And we have more resources.

    However, with that said, you are just blowing smoke up people's behinds. Perry is a nut case.

    July 23, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  14. indy

    How exactly would it work if a state seceded? If it were truly thereafter considered a different country, people would need passports to cross the border between it and the US, eh? They'd have to pay for their own formerly federally funded programs, and they'd be fully responsible for things that may have formerly had federal oversight. For example, their schools would no longer have to pay attention to US standards. By this token, I kinda honestly wish Texas *would* secede. Tennessee, meh,... their citizens would get the worse end of the deal. I wonder what would be the 'grace period' for getting out of (or into) the state before the full sovereign nation treatment would start,...

    July 23, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  15. jimmyjojo

    seriously? talk of secession when we have a black president? do they not see the painful and terrible irony? oh, wait, that's right...they're blind.

    July 23, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  16. Dan

    Tennessee is full of Jehovah's witnesses. They are as conservative as the Taliban.

    July 23, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  17. LouAz

    Isn't it TREASON to advocate the overthrow of the US Government ?
    Some one in Tennessee needs to put the WUMP on Wamp.

    July 23, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  18. Brian

    Here's yet another example of hypocritical and ridiculous blather from a far-right GOPer. Where was Wamp's anti-Washington/anti-federal government posturing when he was working to bring home all that federal money for projects in Tennessee (e.g., $375 million for improvements to the Chickamauga dam–one of Wamp's pet projects)? What does he have to say about the fact that, for every $1.00 Tennessee pays in federal taxes, it takes home $1.27 in federal money? Absurd.

    July 23, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  19. Texas Granny

    Yeah Wamp– we'll all be happy for Tenneessee to quit collecting all the federal highway funds, federal aviation funds, federal unemployment funding, federal medical funding (maybe your Medicare participants will want to think about that), federal grants to the educational facilities in TN, and on & on & on. Anybody who talks secession might want to take a long hard look at just what they're really looking at before running off at the mouth. It's just cheap grandstanding talk....

    July 23, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  20. Chuck

    Make my day, but remember, its good by, lackland afb, johnsons space center, shepard afb ft hood, etc and to go along with that you texans won;t be getting social security or medicare. The icing on the cake would be Mexico reclaiming Texas. Look out here comes Santa Anna.

    ¡hasta la vista! texas

    July 23, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  21. Fair_is-Fair

    What a moron!

    July 23, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  22. Shannon

    I say the hate America crowd can go and take the rest of the tea party people with them.

    July 23, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  23. erik

    What a freakin' punk. Let them secede. The US Military will swoop down so quick they just won't know what hit them...

    Republicans are such childish politicians... So quick to anger, so quick to "take their toys and leave"

    It might truly be time for a completely different kind of revolution in this country... like one to finally stamp out racism, bigotry, intolerance, evil self-interest, and dimwitted politicians who can only appeal to the basest of human characteristics. Yeah.. that'll happen :/

    July 23, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  24. ann

    I guess the folks in Texas don't want Social Security or Medicare.

    July 23, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  25. matt

    I would gladly leave this joke of a nation if it continues to be run by this joke of a president! I would proudly fight for my states freedom from this terrible administration. I will not follow any laws enacted by Obama, Pelosi, Reid, because they are unconstitutional and un american.

    July 23, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
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