July 26th, 2010
10:43 AM ET
4 years ago

Wamp walks back secession talk

Gubernatorial candidate Zach Wamp says he is not interested in secession.
Gubernatorial candidate Zach Wamp says he is not interested in secession.

(CNN) – Republican Rep. Zach Wamp of Tennessee wants to make one thing clear: If elected governor, the Volunteer State will remain part of the United States.

"Of course we will not secede from the union," Wamp told reporters at a campaign stop in Franklin, Tennessee over the weekend, according to the Associated Press. "But we will also not have a governor who will cave in to Barack Obama."

Wamp's comments came a day after he appeared to suggest to Hotline OnCall 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 the Hotline.


In the same interview, 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 said.

Perry, the Texas governor who easily won a primary challenge earlier this year, saw his stock rise among conservatives after suggesting in 2009 that his state might consider secession.

Wamp's primary opponents, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, both have said they don't support secession.

The primary is set for August 5.


Filed under: Tennessee • Zach Wamp
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. harold

    Another Wamper from the republicans...huh?...These people are so stuck on anti government stuff...to help people its pitiful...Back to gravel roads also?..Repeal Medicare.. Social Security.. and of course the new Health Insuracne Law covering 30 MIllion people in the USA...Whats wrong with the repuiblicans..Whats wrong with having Health Insurance?..No more taking bankruptcy for health care bills?

    July 26, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. aunt Bea and Opie

    Another one from the turnip truck.Do they grow these morons in pods or what?We just laugh at these clowns,just like we laugh at Rush Limbaugh, faux news,and Sarah, the baby seal basher.

    July 26, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  3. David H.

    This guy is a complete embarassment to Tennessee and makes the rest of the USA think that people in tn are a bunch of Hill-jacks. Racism certainly exists here in TN but has gotten better over the last 20 years hopefully people like Wamp will not be elected and go away. It sad that these people go to CHURCH on Sunday and speak HATRED on Mondays. Unfortunately he is not alone; the republican party is full of them and continue to practice politics of hate.

    July 26, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. B.P. Oil Disaster Likened to Typical Sarah Palin Speech

    Please, secede ... And take Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia with you.

    July 26, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  5. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Funny how they never really mean what they say...

    July 26, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. Ellid

    When are people like Rep. Wamp and Texas Governor Rick Perry going to be charged and prosecuted for advocating secession? This issue was settled in 1865. It is well past time for the government to start showing neo-Confederates and their fellow travelers that talk of secession and nullification of FEDERAL laws will not be tolerated.

    July 26, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    "strictly adhere" to the Constitution

    These republicans are a bunch of hypocrites. Where were all of these complaints from 2000-2008 when the Constitution was being thrown into an industrial shredder????

    July 26, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. Andrew Breitbart is a bottom-feeding, open festering wound on the American political scene . . .

    Wump can give thanks to the federal governemtn – The Tennessee Valley Authority- that he doesn't hunt for his food by candlelight.

    July 26, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Oh, like he could get away with creating its own government and country if he wanted to. There is far too much support that states get from the federal government that they would lose. Besides, what legal way would he have for that?

    July 26, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    My question for all you merry Tea Partyers threatening secession and "2nd Ammendment solutions" is, what if the American people go to the ballot box in 2010 and 2012 and don't vote the way you want them to? Because the President and Democratic majority Congress that has your panties in a bunch was elected by a majority of the American people. In other words, for all your avowed devotion to our Constitution, do you really believe in democracy? Or Is it just when you win?

    July 26, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. Jim S

    I guess all the unfunded mandates of the Bush administration were ok
    you remember the ones that put our states in the red
    now that there is a black president the trailer trash rednecks want to seceed

    July 26, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. vs

    Typical GOP racist thugs appealing to their mindless, moronic, bigoted, greedy, and ignorant base. The majority of this base is dirt poor and actually benefits from the assistance programs that the Government offers, but they are either too ignorant to realize it, or too tempted by the lure of haterd and bigotry to allow their rational mind to see thru the GOP manipulation. Sad that a once great country has been overcome with such mindless stupidity.

    July 26, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  13. Keith in Austin

    Although a stupid idea for TN or any other State, it speaks volumes about the frustration that individual States are dealing with regarding the Federal sanctions being imposed on them by our Socialistic leadership!

    July 26, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. John in Brooklyn

    Genuine statesmen are judged by the degree to which they resort to empty threats. Mr. Wamp either needs to stand by his original statement, or retract it. However, he can't maintain his integrity by calling for sucession, then promising that Tennessee would not sucede.

    July 26, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  15. Orlando Patriot

    Why backtrack? Say what you mean and mean what you say. This president is shredding the constitution on a daily basis and there are many of us who want the SAME country our forefathers founded with limited government and the PEOPLE in the private sector to decide what is best for the country and not GOVERNMENT!! I am waiting to hear what state is the first that wants to secede and I will relocate there within 30 days. Let us have our freedom and YOU can keep your Hope and Change.

    You would find the NEW country thriving within just 5 years due to the hard work and desire of those who work in it and this United States, with it majority of lazy people who want the "rich" to pay for all THEIR needs, will be a failing duplicate of Greece within 10 years. You CANNOT strengthen an economy by taking from those that PRODUCE!! You can keep this SOCIALIST country and good riddance!!

    I want the United States that I grew up and and used to be so great. If I can't have the great United States I grew up in then whichever state wants to secede and duplicate what this country USED to be then I will be there within 30 days.

    July 26, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  16. Shelly

    Idiot!!!! Many will not forget the Republican lunatics.

    A staunch Republican family member has been on disability for 10 – 15 years and still continues to espouse the evil of the Government.
    What a hypocrite...the wierd part is he worked for a huge compny that benefitted from Government contracts! Funny how many people have been blinded and deafened by the crazy shouting of the Fox news and conservative nuts!

    July 26, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. Dave MO

    What a joke idiots like this are. Wish some of these states would secede so we could move America into the future rather than backwards. The term "patriot" with these closed-minded people simply means "anyone who agrees with us." Laughable.

    July 26, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  18. I miss the USA

    Secession may be the only way. Conservatives and Liberals have so much hatred for each other that we are on the brink of another Civil War, and those of us like me, who do not adhere to either camp's rhetoric and are moderate, are going to be the ones caught in the middle, forced to pick a side or be shot.

    This country is definitely in decline, and it is heartbreaking to see. There is no reason why all Americans of every complexion and origin can't stand united as one people, called AMERICAN, and containing no hyphens. This is the harvest reaped from all the sowing of division, classification, and ignorance to the fact that God created all human beings. Jesus can't get back here fast enough, IMO.

    July 26, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. ronalde

    I'm wondering if every republican in tennessee and kentucky have any common sense or are thry all stupid.

    July 26, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  20. larry

    Obviously Zach crap Wampum is an idiot.

    July 26, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. js007

    It's funny how Republicans, who are always questioning other people's patriotism, are constantly talking about secession. The blue states endured 8 years of Bush corruption, financial mismanagement and brutal, useless war in Iraq, and did not threaten separation. This idiot threatens secession over being given health care? Only in the South.

    July 26, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  22. Don Wuerl

    Mr. Wamp is crazy! The Federal Government is not destroying the health insurance industry, wall street, or becoming some dictatorship; its leveling the playing field for all of us who deal with them everyday! Now, big business can simply do the correct thing and put people back to work!!!

    July 26, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  23. chris

    "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," – In other words, if there is a fair democratic election and the results aren't exactly how I want them to be, then it is the right of the few to overrule the majority and secede from union.

    Why is that the conservatives who brag the most about their own patriortism while questioning everyone else's – are also the ones who say the most treasonous things?

    July 26, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  24. financeguy

    that's thee American Spirit. Let's break-away from the union when something that is good (in this case healthcare) for the people. You can not expect to get elected with that type of unpatriotic ideas and try to pass them off to the masses as patriotic. The GOP has flipped there lids to many of the issues pertaining to today economy which they have caused of the past years during the Bush administration.
    Fox News. Please stop reporting false stories and writing your own history. We know that many of your viewers and listners are not very well educated but for us out there who do not watch your news, know what you are all about and that reporting lies and false allegations.

    July 26, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  25. Connie

    Gee, Mr. Wamp – Should Tennesse secede from the Union for all federally sponsored programs? Are you going to speak out against social security, Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, unemployment, etc, etc.?

    July 26, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
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