April 16th, 2009
11:56 AM ET
10 years ago

Texas governor says secession possible

(CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry isn't ruling out the possibility his state may one day secede from the nation.

Speaking to an energetic and angry tea party crowd in Austin Wednesday evening, the Lone Star State governor suggested secession may happen in the future should the federal government not change its fiscal polices.

"There's a lot of different scenarios," Perry said. "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." (Video below: Tea party fires up debate)

Perry, who is beginning to gear up for what could be a challenging re-election race, rejected more than $500 million in federal stimulus funds earlier this year and has been highly critical of President Obama's stimulus package.  (Related: Joe "The Plumber" speaks at Michigan tea party)

His comments come a week after endorsing a resolution in the Texas state House reasserting state sovereignty over federal mandates.

Specifically it states that "all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed."

Texas, America's second biggest state in area and population, was its own nation for 10 years before joining the United States in 1845.

Should Texas one day secede, one man may already be vying to be its president. Actor Chuck Norris said last month he may be interested in the post.

“I may run for president of Texas,” Norris wrote in a column posted at WorldNetDaily. “That need may be a reality sooner than we think. If not me, someone someday may again be running for president of the Lone Star state, if the state of the union continues to turn into the enemy of the state.”

Filed under: Rick Perry
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. MarylandsFinest

    So much for patriotism and nationalism. When their boy Bush was digging America's grave, they were so proud to be Americans. Now that their boy is out, they're ashamed to be American.

    All I have to say is, Texas, if you are so ashamed of this country, secede at will. We were doing just fine without you and we'll probably do better without you.

    You will not be missed.

    April 16, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  2. jon

    that could be the most ignorant and frustrating thing i've read in months, secession is no joke. i don't think they realize that the last time that happend, the bloodies war in American history happend. I hope the governor relizes what a fool he looks like.

    April 16, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  3. Dave Stir

    Rick continues his arrogance and ignarance with this foolish talk of succession. Go ahead and do it ! Then in a very short period of time, idiots like Perry and Norris will see this place become part of Mexico's northern expansion re-named to "Texas, Mexico" !

    April 16, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  4. Pete

    So, basically what Mr. Perry is saying (I won't call him Governor because a real leader wouldn't bring up secession), is that unless the United States is run exclusively by the Republican Party, then the United States should be dissolved?

    Obviously, you didn't scream too loudly about NASA being headquartered in your state. Or all the defense contracts your state was awarded. Or all the military bases. I suppose you wouldn't mind simply having all those little goodies taken away from you, huh.

    April 16, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  5. seth, minnesota

    Secession isn't even a legal option. This isn't 1861. How did the party of Lincoln become the party of secession?

    April 16, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  6. Chris

    Good. Let them leave. Take the Bush family and Chuck Norris with you. These "Texans" have already done enough damage to our country and to the acting profession. Any intelligent and loyal Americans that live in Texas and disagree with these yahoos – come on up to Ohio....we've got room for ya.

    April 16, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  7. brad

    Sounds good. After all, it was a son from your state that cause this economic crisis. We, the other 49 states might be better off.

    April 16, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  8. chris

    ya'll tried that one already, did t work then, won't work this time

    April 16, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  9. mia

    Time to get off the federal gov't milk and do what they think they need to do. These people are insane, I hate to reduce this to race but where in the heck was all this outrage before, now we have a bi-racial president these folks act like the world is about to come to an end. Give me a break!

    April 16, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  10. jim d

    If there's any merit in Texas' secession, it's dashed by the possibility of Chuck Norris as president. Norris, like any Washington politico, needs to smell the roses, leave his studio digs and consider the world of public opinion out there. Walker, Texas Rangers, bears no resemblance to anybody anywhere. Maybe Chuckie could team up with Stephen Colbert for a reality series. You know, something to else to speed up channel surfing...

    April 16, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  11. Howard

    United We Stand!!!

    Arrest and convict this traitor and all those who conspired at the rally.

    We are at war, and this give comfort to those who are fighting our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Come on Texas, stand up for your country and arrest Gov. Perry now!!!

    April 16, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  12. Martin Costello

    Texas reminds me of a petulant, overpaid athlete who threatens to sit out unless he gets what he wants. If I were the Pres/owner, I would send Texas, Roger Clemens and Sarah Palin to Mexico for a few goal scoring soccer players and a commitment to cut down on drug trafficking. We can pick up Cuba or PR to replace Texas so that we don't have to change the flag.

    April 16, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  13. Dorothy

    I have never lived anywhere but Texas. Rick Perry is NUTS!!!

    April 16, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  14. Larry

    Rick Perry is a used car salesman and a tool of a politician. Being a Texan, having the right to secede has always been a point of pride, but not reality. We think of ourselves as independent thinkers and proud of being Texans and Americans.

    I can say one thing about Texas secession, my vote would be for Kinky Friedman and not Rick Perry or Chuck (Oklahoma, really?) Norris for President.

    April 16, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  15. BusyMom

    While our President is hard at work trying to fix the economic problems that the GOP is largely responsible for, while our President is busy dealing with the unnecessary war that the GOP brought us, and while our President is busy re-gaining the respect our country had before the Bush administration lost it, what is the GOP doing? Stupid stuff like tea parties and talk of sucession. Nothing to help. No ideas. They should be embarrassed by their complete inability to contribute anything productive.

    April 16, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  16. KathifromTexas

    Texas is able to legally secede under certain legal conditions – because of the manner in which it entered the union - as a sovereign nation.

    But we're not gonna

    April 16, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  17. Sandy

    Well, if they really want to secede lets not stand in their way. Hope they return all the stimulus money and will be able to take care of the Mexican border on their own. Gosh, guess they'll have to raise taxes in Texas to take care of all that. Oh, I forgot the about the money they'll lose if their residents no longer get Social Security or Medicare. Oops.

    April 16, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  18. I can see Canada from my house!

    This declaration is not a simple disagreement with the current administration.

    Its treason, plain and simple.

    The costliest war in our history was over secession and states' rights. I would have thought the blood of 600,000 American that soaked the ground at Shiloh, Gettysburg and countless other places would have been enough of a lesson, but apparently its not.

    Perry needs to be locked up. Now.

    April 16, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  19. Iris

    Secession, sounds like a good plan for everyone to me. Leave us the Dixie Chicks, but take W. with you.

    April 16, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  20. Mark

    Can you blame them? Bama and Pelosi will bankrupt the nation.

    April 16, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  21. TJ Miller

    This is truly one of the most unintelligent things that i have heard in a long time. I agree with him that in recent years that the government has become overpowered and is using that power to in-act laws that some may not take as a step in the right direction. However there are may other ways to go about fixing these problems. Yes you could say that as a republican governor he will have no chance in talks with congress, but there are ways around that. If he tried to discuss this with the smaller local governments he could get the support he needs to make a change. There is no reason to threaten the country with succession. All this will do is start a fire that could just propitiate the downward spiral that our country is already in.

    April 16, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  22. bigjoerice minnesota

    after four years working in Fort Worth Texas, I'm not seeing any downside for the rest of America if Texas secedes.

    April 16, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  23. Edward Blake

    Oh this is just silly.

    You lost the election. Grow up, and move on with life. Quit whining and find an electable candidate if you don't like the current one.

    April 16, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  24. Ron

    Does this idiot understand that what he is saying is treason! Texas does not have any special right to succeed from the union. And where were these idiots when Bush was in office? By the way, my Federal taxes just went down.

    April 16, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  25. aaron

    If they're planing to leave then please don't make Chuck the spokesman. Why not just move Sarah Pallin to Texas. Please elect someone inteligable!

    April 16, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
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