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criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed."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

    The two biggest States in the United States (Texas and Alaska) want to secede from the United States.......both run by Republican Goveners........this is what the GOP has to offer this country......these are the type of people that stir up the hate, racism, anger in this country........remember Palin........ENOUGH

    April 16, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  2. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    I live in Texas and Perry is an IDIOT! I think most people here except those on the far right feel the same way. He's the type that if Texas were to leave the union he would declare himself president.

    April 16, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  3. NMDave

    Yeah, be careful what you ask for let's see how much the US will save if Texas leaves US. No Social Security, no federal retirements, no military retirements, no US bases, no Coast Guard, no shipping ports, no highway funds, no farm subsidies, no energy funds, no FHA funds, .... need I go on. What a fool this state is.

    April 16, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  4. Christian L.

    So Texas is "a pretty independent lot to boot", except when they need Federal assistance for lttle things like hurricane recovery or when wildfires are burning across the state. Hmmm.

    April 16, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  5. Chuck

    Hey, tea party participants and supporters.......Where were all those tea parties when the Cheney/Bush administration were doubling the national debt during the past eight years?

    How partisan and hypocritical can you get.

    Governor Perry's secession inclination puts him in the far right extremist category. Goodbye, Governor Ricky

    April 16, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  6. Ignorance

    Republicans are truly amazing. If this is not Anti-American I don't know what is.

    April 16, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  7. A Left Texan

    How embarrassing. Now I have to move.

    April 16, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  8. David Fisher

    Good riddance to whomever wishes to leave the union. I would love to see the idiot Chuck Norris and the Texas governor tried for treason.

    The right wing is getting out of control and sounds more and more frightening every day.

    April 16, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  9. El Paso Native

    Please, fellow Americans; do not think that all Texans are like Rick Perry.* He's a political opportunist cut from the same cloth as George W Bush.

    * Well, most Texans -are- like Perry because he got elected and re-elected.

    April 16, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  10. Joyce

    G0v Perry of Texas DOES NOT SPEAK for all Texans. I am native Texan and I am a proud AMERICAN!!

    April 16, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  11. smokey

    These people are really ridiculas, and what is especially sad is that this king of silliness is coming from one of their own elected officials..Where was all this talk for the past 8years when the formed WH was busy running up our budget, and spending out of control..Funny all this talk comes after the election of Obama....Well i think if he continues to talk about this, he may be in a state all by himself and won;t have to worry about getting re-elected..Fine example this guy is setting for the country ! He's as absurd as all those tea-baggers who have lost touch with reality

    April 16, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  12. Paul from Phoenix

    God, I miss Texas! You gotta love their pride!

    April 16, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  13. bill from pa

    If these bozos talked like this under Bush/Cheney they'd be getting waterboarded at Gitmo for treason. Republicans spent money like drunken sailors when they were in charge to the tune of a 7 trillion national debt. Now they want to act like fiscal conservatives. What a joke.

    April 16, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  14. CHMARA

    Perry has never had the intelligence required of a Governor. He's been on a power rush since he was elected and has never listened to the people of Texas and what they want. Quite giving him publicity for his insane ideas

    April 16, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  15. texasgirl

    Rick Perry is a moron. He's a freakin embarrassment to Texas and shame on all of us if we don't vote him out in 2010.

    April 16, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  16. cole

    Idiot. It would be treasonous – if the guy had any idea what he was talking about. Texas – the next Somalia! It seems there are as many right-wing wackos in Texas as there are left-wing wackos in California, and to the rest of us, there's not much difference. Here's another idea: No state ought to be allowed to get so big that it endangers it's own people as well as others. Split both Texas and California up into 3 or 4 smaller states each.

    April 16, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  17. donna

    Rick "the stick" Perry is up for re-election..he has never been this vocal but saw how it brought Palin to the forefront..he needs all the help he can get cause he is not well liked outside of his base...Texas isn't going anywhere but hopefully Perry will come next election!!!

    If we did suceed, I am sure he realizes that the military bases would go away..as will any federal border agents...when we are battered by hurricanes I hope he knows that he wouldn't be able to contact the federal government for assistance, etc...

    Another one with his hair glued on too tight!!! There is a reason that his mansion was destroyed by arson....he needs to stop embarrassing himself and the state...this is treason..he should apologize or get out of office...he was just whipping the base up into a frenzy...I would hope he isn't dumb enough to stay on this path!!!

    Thanks for giving him his 15 mins of fame...

    April 16, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  18. Thank you

    Gov, Perry...do not speak for me. I live in Texas and I DO NOT WANT TX TO SECEDE because of your G.O.P greed....NO WAY...Let's see if you are going to stay GOV come next election...

    April 16, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  19. James

    This country was founded on States Rights and local Government controling local issues. The Federal Government is not needed to fund schools and Police...these all can be handled and taxed for on the local level.
    Obama's BIG GOVERNMENT arms twisting and trampling on individual states rights must end now. We are the United States not the Soviet Union.

    April 16, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  20. JJoe

    Are Texas voters aware that their tax dollars are paying for Governor Perry to rent a mansion, while they build him an entirely new mansion?

    April 16, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  21. GetOverIt

    Somebody tell me how this is not treason? Especially coming from a sitting governor. If I'm the White House, I might be asking for a little clarification on this......

    April 16, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  22. Robert Britt

    Interesting how the secession talk comes up. Perry speaks in strong tones to the fringe elements at the 'tea party'

    The thing is that for all the talk of socialism and big government, this same element supported Bush while he enlarged the federal government and started us down this recovery road. TARP began as a republican plan, or is that forgotten already?

    On the other side of this, if the government sits by and lets huge companies fold, it's not just the companies and big business failing, there are countless jobs lost, plus the domino effect, if they go out of business. While not a fan of big government, I think Obama deserves more than a couple months in office before we assign blame for all this mess to him. Eight years of Bush politics got us here.
    A fiscally conservative, socially moderate Republican

    April 16, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  23. Jim - Kingston, Pa

    I would love to see Texas secede...the country would get rid of a lot of waste. I am amused how these fools cry about big government now that their idiotic leader has been removed. Not only did George W. Bush remove more of our individual rights than any other president in history he also expanded the government enormously. Basically, its not when will Texas secede but how soon?.....and also please take the majority of the backward evangelical christian conservatives with you.

    April 16, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  24. Mike Dallas

    What a joke! Forty four percent of Texans voted for President Obama. Not to mention a majority in Austin. Surely secession would require a 2/3 vote. The man is just hoping he does not lose his upcoming primary battle.

    April 16, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  25. Not a suburb of Dallas

    I never thought that texocentricism would go to this extent. When I lived in that state, I learned that Tejas meant friendship. According to tradition, the true Texans, Native Americans, greeted the European settlers with this word. I also remember the motto "Don't mess with Texas." What I remember of Texas personally is that the people could be friendly, but I also remember those who showed another, not so friendly, side of that great state. Texas has produced great people and done great things for our the Union. Therefore, it saddens me that it is now under the control of someone who has no business governing. With his irresponsible words, Governor Perry has fueled the fires of secessionist thinking. It may be a bit early to say that treason is being committed, but I feel strongly that Perry, Norris and others are leading Texas down a dangerous path. This cannot help Texas or the United States of America. If Texas continues down this path, I have no doubt that other like-minded states will follow. We have a real problem here, and I am very concerned. I urge Texans and people who live in areas that are similarly disposed to speak out against those who would tear up the fabric of our great nation. Thank you.

    Bill Graham

    April 16, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13