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or criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed."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. Robbi

    Rick Perry is just blowing smoke.

    April 16, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  2. Luis Pando

    I am a Texan and I say to Perry and all the other nuts do not let the door hit your behind on the way out. Mr. Perry, I love the USA. If you do not then I say get the hell out. How are you different thatn the falg burners? This problems comes from the continual love affair with the condederate states. jeff Davis is remebered a hero with a county named after him instead of what he was a traitor whose need to own other people led to the deaths of millions of americans.,

    April 16, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  3. Uncle Jimbo

    If Texas wants to go – let them go. Lets see how long they last on their own.

    April 16, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  4. Bob from Virginia

    Good, we'll trade them the normal people from their state for their fellow nutcases in the rest of the country, and they can have fun on thier own. Good luck to them.

    April 16, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  5. Frank in FLA

    Perry may wonder what happened to all that military money should Texas drop out of the union. Texas does not have the economic base to survive with out DOD funds. It is sad how little farsight politicians have when they jump on a sound bite.

    April 16, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  6. Kat

    Unless Texas does it forcefully, they CAN'T secede from the union - does no one remember all that political hoopla after the Civil War?

    Personally, I say screw it - let Texas go! But make them take George W. Bush's enormous Iraq War debt with them. He's theirs, after all.

    April 16, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  7. longhorn Dallas, Tx

    We seriously need term limit for Texas governor. I hope he loses.

    April 16, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  8. Satori


    I guess they'd have to start paying "State" taxes then.

    What a bunch of whiners, they pay some of the lightest income taxes in the Union.

    April 16, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  9. commenter1001

    What I find funny about this is people threating to scede from the United States without consider the natural import/export taxes that could result between Texas an other counties. Texas, like all states, has companys and small business that depend just as much on the free interstate trade as they suffer from high taxes. In short the devil is in the details

    April 16, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  10. Corey Cantor

    The Governor of Texas is being ridiculous. If a state wants to seced, let them do it legally. Doubt they'll get very far though.

    April 16, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  11. Texans are US Citizens forever!

    Rick Perry DOES NOT represent all Texans! Apparently, he has a few more screws loose!

    April 16, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  12. John

    I, being from the Great State of Texas, agree that one day this will happen if the US government keeps ignoring its hard working people who pay taxes, and use the unborn as collateral to finance social spending today. The Government was of the people, by the people, and for the people, not of a select elitist few that our power hungry, and think they know what is best.

    April 16, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  13. Walt

    As long as Texas takes the Bush clan with them, they have my blessings.

    April 16, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  14. Michael

    This is absolutely ridiculous. Democrats have power for a couple of months and Republicans are already trying to pull their states out of the union?? How unbelievably childish and selfish. They just keep digging their own grave.

    April 16, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  15. mary

    Wake up America! Obama is not the devil. How did we come to this, that barely four months into his presidency some red states are considering secession? What happened? The economic meltdown began before the fall elections; the budget dificit was already high before January 20; nothing has changed since Obama became president. So what is going on? Some white Americans cannot stand the fact that a black person is president? This hurts.

    There have been few instances when states have threatened to secede (e.g. during the war of 1812, shortly before the battle of New Orleans; also in the winter of 1850) and only one time that they actually did. How did that end for this country? How stupid can Rick Perry be? Did he go to school at all, and did he take any history classes? If not, then I want to re-educate him!

    April 16, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  16. Oregon Calling

    Some people just don't understand that actions speak louder than words. Give our President a chance, he hasn't even been in office for 100 days. Rome wasn't built in a day.

    Peace 🙂

    April 16, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  17. Obama 2012

    See ya later Perry, we know it's eating you alive!

    You all are such hypocrits...

    How about unpatriotic?

    Secede is an option for Republicans in Texas not Democrats.

    April 16, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  18. Mark

    Even the pro Obama Europeans are scared about his economic plans. I don't blame Texas or Alaska or anyone else who wants out!

    Obamabots need to quit taking Hollywood and the media's advice on elections.

    April 16, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  19. Texans are US Citizens forever!

    Rick Perry won't be the Governor of Texas much longer! Thank goodness.

    April 16, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  20. DallasThePalace

    WHATEVER! I'm SO VERY TIRED of my nut job governor, and representatives around here speaking on behalf of "the people" (or so they think) – FURTHER pertetuating the myth that we are a state full of "nut job" folks. Enough with the angry talk Gov. Perry. You are becoming more polarizing than proactive!

    April 16, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  21. John

    I live in Texas and think that Perry is an idiot who is catering to the right wing ignorant nuts who polpulate this state.

    April 16, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  22. reybeast

    what a bonehead. I was gonna say Perry is as dumb as a box of rocks, but that would be insulting to rocks......

    April 16, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  23. Davy Crockett

    Patriot Act Him! Go America, that includes Texas.

    April 16, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  24. Dave Smith

    I live in Austin, TX, and we have to put up with this out-of-control governor. He should pay attention to what happened to Blagojevich. This is absurd.

    April 16, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  25. Jack

    Texas will NEVER be allowed to secede from the Union. Don't any of you people study history. Remember a little thing called the Civil War. The US governement will use force as they did then to stop such action.

    April 16, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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