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criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed."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

    I have news for the Texan Governor, you will be lucky to be re-elected on the next go around, I'm not crazy about Washington's policies, but I will be glad to re-enlist to fight any Texan morons that think they they can break out from the best country in the world, by the way I was born in Texas and proud to be an AMERICAN!!!!!!

    April 16, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  2. Daniel

    Really? I mean is this satire? A Joke? Should we all just leave the United States for Canada or Europe because we don't agree with the President, a law or taxes?

    What else can you expect from Texas. After all they seem to have a great history for voting rejects into the Governor’s Office! This guy makes Bush look like he has it together!

    April 16, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  3. C.E.Daly

    For some reason, the State of Texas seems to think they own the State of Texas. The people of the United States own the State of Texas – not Texans. Haven't we covered this ground before? Does the State of Texas think the United States would simply let Texans walk away – with all of the oil? Ludicrous...

    April 16, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  4. lkh

    Is this man out of his mind? His comments are completely irrational.

    April 16, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  5. Eddie

    That's genius. Something like this could only come from Perry.. stooge.

    April 16, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  6. texas tea

    what a sad joke these people are

    April 16, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  7. terry gallagher

    Treason is punishable by death, Governor Perry!

    April 16, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  8. Wynter

    Perry has a very short memory... Reagan and Bush abused the right to an abortion the same way he is complaining about Federal Rules in legislation now. Those Republican Presidents restricted funding to Abortion Clinics stating that they could get funds but dictated what they could spend it on. This is the same thing he is complaining about the Stimulus funds but under a Republican President.

    Why didn't he complain then? Because of politics. Just like this grandstanding is for.. pure partisan politics.

    April 16, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  9. Patriot Guy

    After a few years of B.O., many of the states are going to be ready to secede. Alaksan's have been considering it for years.

    April 16, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  10. Susan

    I think it's a spectacular idea and please, take all your republican friends with you!!!

    April 16, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  11. Peter

    It is a tale, Told by an idiot, Full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.

    April 16, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  12. NFL

    I know a lot of folks in TX who would flee if it becomes an independent country. All the power to them – they can take all the conservative, fundamentalist folks from around the US and break off!

    April 16, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  13. Julie

    Couldn't you guys have seceded before you inflicted Bush on us? No point in leaving now, unless you have someone even worse who might run for president. This Perry guy could take the mantle of "Biggest Idiot Politician to Ever Come Out of Texas", so on second thought - leave now, before we're subjected to more idiocy from your state. The rest of the U.S. won't miss you!

    April 16, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  14. Fredrick

    I suspect the federal government wouldn't take kindly to such an action. Last time there was a disagreement concerning state rights versus federal oversight, it resulted in several states seceding from the union. Of course, we know how the civil war turned out.

    Perhaps we may be seeing the first stirings of a second civil war coming.

    April 16, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  15. Charles

    Perry is another empty headed governor from Texas with aspirations of being President. Yesterday, he appealed to the extreme right base with outrageous comments in hopes of being the one to galvanize them. As a native Texas who lives in Austin and follows Perry's daily shenanigans I warn the rest of the nation, "don't even think of doing it again!"

    April 16, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  16. Matt the Baker

    Perry needs to secede from Texas. Seriously, any state want an egotistical idiot with nice hair? Illinois? Anyone?

    April 16, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  17. EagleScout

    As a Texan, if they secede I'm moving back and will support the Republic of Texas!

    April 16, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  18. Max S.

    What an un-American thing to say. Disagreeing with Obama's fiscal policy is one thing... but offering only rhetoric (and no alternatives) and threatening secession is purely anti-patriotic. When we need to come together as a country, Perry is pulling us apart.

    April 16, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  19. Walter

    If that's what they want to do and they vote on it, go for it.

    As long as the process is democratic. In my opinion this country is too big anyway. I always thought a passport should be required anyway to go to texas.

    April 16, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  20. GlassHalfFull

    Unbelievable. When Chuck Norris says junk like this, he sounds like a wacko. When the governor says it, he sounds like Jefferson Davis. I wonder how the 60% of Texans that support our President and his policies feel about this. Talk of secession is truly un-American and there should be consequences.

    April 16, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  21. marilyn parker

    Great idea to succed from the union. I would never want to split the united states up. But this liberal left wing does not represent the American people that are actually paying attention. All conservative states can band together and take Alaska with them. Marilyn Parker

    April 16, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  22. Ryan

    Secede? For how much did republicans talk about patriotism, this is not very patriotic.

    April 16, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  23. Patrick, St. Louis

    Good riddance. We can do without the arrogance and the intolerance. But after the dream of oil, tax cuts and war is found to be wholly unsustainable, don't come crawling back.

    April 16, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  24. CountrybeforeTexas

    I am a born Texan and the continous remarks by Perry and other about Texas seceding from the nation is disgraceful to many who call Texas home.

    April 16, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  25. Jeff B

    Please please please DO succeed from the U.S.!!! The rest of us are tired of dealing with the arrogant Texas "attitude"! "Don't mess with Texas!" PLEASE!! Once Texas succeeds and gets cut off from federal money, they will revert to a 3rd world country! Then even Mexico won't want them back!

    April 16, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
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