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criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed."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

    I think Rick has flipped his lid. Take a look the November election numbers and note that GOP popularity is fading fast in Texas, mainly due to this kind of nonsense from Perry.

    April 16, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  2. Bill

    Now there are some real Americans. I doubt they are even loyal to Texas. Seems like they are only loyal to themselves. Where was Chuck Norris when the nominating for president was going on, he sure did not step up to the plate. Jessie Ventura had a big mouth too, but at least he backed up his words with real action and became Governor of Minnesota. People like Chuck Norris (rich folks) are only loyal to their pocket book.

    April 16, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  3. jlravin

    I was teetering the line, but I am now, officially embarrased to be a Texan.

    April 16, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  4. skruse

    Just wondering....should Texas secede, will they give up all Federal Funding for highways, education, healthcare, transportation, highways repair/maintenance, Homeland Security (border guards), national parks, etc? Will they give up all rights to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid? Will they give up all rights to protection by US military and rely soley on their own? Remember Mexico does border Texas. Will they establish their own currency and forego FDIC protection as well as SEC? I wonder have they really thought out secession and all that goes with it? Texas currently has no state income tax. Should they secede, I wonder, what will their state income tax be?

    April 16, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. rmc100

    Good riddance - there are plenty of other places that would love to have that 50th star on our flag.

    April 16, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. Uncle Sam

    This sounds suspiciously like treason – on 2nd thought, maybe they'd like to be returned to mexico

    April 16, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. A proud Texan

    Wow, how silly! If that happens, I'm moving out. While I love Texas, I am an American and am not willing to give up my country.

    April 16, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  8. Ep

    Wow... I remember the day whe this would be consider treasonous talk

    and if it was a Democratic governor, the right would be having a fit

    April 16, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. Larry from RI

    Good, then the US can put a fence up around Texas – to keep the illegal aliens (Texans) out of the US!

    Since you will no longer be considered citizens of the USA, all Texans will need a passport and visa then pay hefty tolls to get across the border to enter our country – (the USA.)

    If you work in or want to visit our Country (the USA), We will allow you to apply for a work permit, get photographed and finger printed, after which we will review your application to ensure you aren't a threat to our National Security then, perhaps we will issue you a limited work permit and ALLOW you to visit our country (the USA) – as long as we know where you are at all times After all, why should we treat your "new country" any differently than Mexico or Canada?.

    BTW – You can deal with Mexico on your own, as it will then be your neighbor and your problem – not ours.

    April 16, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  10. Patrick

    Why my fellow Texans keep voting this guy in office is beyond me.

    April 16, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  11. Edward

    What a bunch of idiots. There's nothing in the constitution – Texan or federal, that says Texas may secede if it wants. That's treasonous talk, and I'm surprised to hear it from a "pro-American" Republican. Stop trying to undermine the union and stop throwing a temper tantrum because your guy didn't win the presidential election.

    April 16, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  12. Morgan-NATIVE TEXAN

    This kind of talk is utterly ridiculous! I am so sick of the Republicans pouting because they lost the election. GET OVER IT ALREADY! I think it is irresponsible for Gov. Perry to say such things and incite more diversion in this country. You should love your country as a whole and not threaten to leave it because you didn't get your way back in November. It is time to GROW UP GOP. Gov. Perry , you just LOST my vote.

    April 16, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  13. That One

    As a Texan, I hope it's true! I've been wanting to move since my state lit up bright red during the election season. I'll miss El Fenix tex-mex, though.

    April 16, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  14. Glenn Murtha

    As a Texan and loyal American, Rick Perry just lost my vote permanently.

    April 16, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. David H.

    Frank Lee below is right, "He's a big of a blowhard as Sarah Palin."

    I'm a native Texan, and there are plenty of us that think Rick Perry and his far-right fans are crazier than a sack of weasels. I can't imagine this ever happening – but on the outside chance it does, I'm heading for the border (after selling my house to some neo-con wacko who thinks this is a good idea 😉

    April 16, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  16. LittleOurkie

    I am a born and raised native Texan.

    Take it from me: Rick Perry is insane.

    April 16, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  17. Karen

    This shouldn't surprise anyone... I grew up there and everyone there feels 'different' about who they are, where they are from... That would also make Rick Perry "President of Texas" – he has his own motive... he is a wacky guy!

    April 16, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  18. bob

    As a Texan...this confirms it Rick Perry is a moron....

    April 16, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  19. Right Trash

    That would be awesome! Then, we can get back the billions we gave them in stimulus money AND we can move the border fence from below the Rio Grande up to Amarillo. Texans will not be allowed to come into the US. Sounds like Paradise to me. I think their new country's flag should be a pic of Chuck Norris doing a karate pose.

    April 16, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  20. Joyce

    What an idiot. Well then, go. You won't be missed. This is the United States not the 49 states and Texas, which doesn't know how to work with others for the greater good. Take your ignorance and your mouth and go home Gov. Perry.

    April 16, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  21. Hmmm

    I really can't believe ANY governor would say something like that under the current, rather mild, circumstances. Now, if people were looting in the streets and we were under martial law or something, I'd appreciate statements about secession more than I do today, but not by much. I dunno how people without any loyalty to the earth their forefathers died on get elected to state office...

    April 16, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  22. Juliana

    Good God, this native Texan is moving out of state if this ever happens. Perry is a fool.

    April 16, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  23. Mac

    Don't blame all Texans for Gov. Good Hair. The last good governor we had was Ann Richards!

    April 16, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  24. Josh in NC

    I say cut off ALL Federal projectrs in TX and see how long Perry lasts. Good riddance.

    April 16, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  25. Sonia

    Rick Perry is a joke. He protests about federal spending under Obama and didnt say a word when bush was spending like a drunken sailor. He also saddles the state of Texas with his rent which is 10, 000 a month. What a hypocrite. He is the biggest welfare queen in Texas.

    April 16, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
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