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or criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed."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. Jim, Burlington NC

    More crack pots.

    #1 It's a myth about Texas reserving the right to succeed if they want to.

    #2 Perry now knows the tide has turned against him for re-election and will say or do anything to get the GOP in Texas motivated.

    #3 These Tea Parties yesterday did nothing but illustrate a lack of knowledge on the original Boston Tea Party which was about a lack of representation, hey guess what Texas – you just had 8 years of representation in the White House – how'd that work out?

    April 16, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  2. Patriot

    Go right ahead, Texas, and take Norris with you. What do we need Texas for, anyway? The only thing to come out of there was the Bushes, and look what that did for the country. Maybe Bush could run against Norris for Pres of TX and work his fiscal magic on that state...oh, that's right, he took a surplus and turned it into a huge deficit. Good luck with that, Texas, and good riddance.

    And any Governor who is preaching secession ought to be looked at for treason. He's obviously not putting this country first. Why don't you take care of all the drug wars going on there before poking your nose outside of your state where it doesn't belong?

    April 16, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  3. james

    Do it!! The South should also do it! I would become a texan if you do! The Federal Gov. is corrupt!

    April 16, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  4. Christian

    I'm on board.

    April 16, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  5. Matt

    This is by far the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Secession would be an immediate threat to US security, and thus Texas would be promptly FORCED back into the union, and forever looked upon as the bastard child of the US. Just goes to show you how stupid, ignorant and detached right wing republicans really are. have fun withdrawing from the union as our economy turns around and the US becomes the industrial capital of the world again... and we'll let Texas rot with the mexicans.

    April 16, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  6. Cromwell

    Secession is unlawful.
    With the exception of the original thirteen States, all of the other States were originally Federal Territory.

    All of the States that were originally Federal Territory, petitioned Congress and requested that they be granted Statehood and they agreed to abide by the laws of the United States.

    These States can't lawfully secede and declare themselves independant from the jurisdiction of the United States.
    If they no longer want to be a State, their only lawful option is to request that Congress revoke their status as a State and return to the status of a Federal territory.

    April 16, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  7. cindyin

    You GO Gov!! My 4th great grandfather fought for Texas freedom in 1836 and we have never left this great state! Don't mess with Texas!!

    April 16, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  8. yeah right

    Isnt going to happen, Texas couldnt survive ! who would they call for help after a fire, hurricaine, tornados, any disaster, plus, Texas gets lots of things imported IN, if that was cut off, ??? Just mean stupid talk coming ftrom Govn, and stupid non thinking Texans ! This Texan doesnt believe it, isnt supporting it, and NOT supporting repubs or anyone else who does ! I am ashamed Texas is a red state..doing my part to turn it blue !

    April 16, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  9. Jeff in NJ

    Let 'em go! In fact, I wish they had seceded before 2000 – that way the country would have been spared the abomination that was George Bush!

    Lived there for 10 years. It's what I envision hell to be like.

    April 16, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  10. chissy

    I can't seem to wrap my mind around he fact that ceding from your country is supposed to be what patriotic?

    I think all these American Citizens who live in Texas calling our Federal Government the enemy of the state should stand trial for treason and they are the most unpatriotic of America. Texas does not deserve to be part of the U.S.A and I wouldn't mind seeing those whack jobs along with the whack jobs that protested using wasted tea products to all go live in Texas and be done with our great nation.

    April 16, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  11. Alan

    This is blatant treason is it not?

    April 16, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  12. Matt

    lol. Let them, don't think it would be a huge loss. See how quickly they come back begging. I mean, with Chuck Norris as their president, they could do anything!

    But hey, guess what, the price of being American means paying taxes. A country can't run very well without funding now can it?

    April 16, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  13. maf

    Seriously??? Wow, not even 100 days into the Obama administration and a state wants to secede. . . pretty anti-American wouldn't you say?

    April 16, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  14. P

    While seceding because of unfair taxation is certainly a noble cause, Texas would simply be overrun by Mexican drug cartels within 2-5 years. Yes Texans, they have bigger guns than you do! It' s not feasible!

    April 16, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  15. BGorman

    I would love to see Texas try this. They'd have to deal with Mexico all on their own now. Have fun controlling the cartels, Walker.

    April 16, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  16. BrBob

    Fine. Get started on the big fence for Texas' northern border (less Mexican border problems for the Texas-less US). Say goodbye to all US military and government assets. Enjoy your next big gulf coast hurricane on your own dime.

    Re-elections make politicians say even stupider things than usual. It's a neat little fantasy to think of Texas as an independent country but it's just political gambit to reinforce the power base of the current governor and his elected brethren. Gov. Perry should stop receiving all Federal monies and operate as an fiscally independent government for a while and see how that works for Texas.

    Texas' secession is about a probable as Chuck Norris winning an Oscar.

    April 16, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  17. texan

    Do you see what we have been putting up with for years ??? What an embarrasment ---– and he grew up 40 mi. from me !!!!!!!!

    April 16, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  18. Bedford

    If I remember American history correctly, Texas was part of the South during the civil war and was subdued by the North, preserving the Union. Since losing that battle to secede, we shall always be subject to the U.S. Constitution regardless of what our intellectually challenged governor says. We are Americans first and always.

    Texas is only a region in this great country which, unfortunately for the Nation, has recently produced some of the most stupid politicians imaginable. I suggest DHS begin a surveillance of the governor and his cronies.

    April 16, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  19. RebeccaS

    I'm a proud citizen of The Republic of Texas. Not ready to have Chuck Norris as prez, but Texas can certainly support itself. We have some of the largest companies based right here in our backyard.

    April 16, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  20. John

    This sounds like treason to me. Why doesn't everyone get a cool head about the tax issues and relax. You MUST pay taxes. That's a fact. After giving us George W. Bush for 8 years (who got us into this mess) Texas better not secede. They owe us big time.

    April 16, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  21. Mike

    Just when I thought that I could no longer be surprised by any irrational rhetoric coming from right wing fanatics, I find myself flabbergasted that the sitting governor of a state would make statements like this. Unbelievable.

    This is demagoguery at its finest - whipping up a frenzy of "us versus them" for his own political gain - and at a time when it has never been more critical that we unite to solve the critical problems facing this nation. And this is the sort of politician who will wrap himself in the flag and profess his patriotism. What hypocrisy. In my opinion, he is lower than dirt.

    April 16, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  22. David

    The phrase good riddance to bad rubbish comes to mind. Also, wouldn't it be deliciously ironic if Texas secedes for the United States to build a WALL around the state to keep out those filthy, un-American immigrants? As an added bonus, with Texas out of the picture, it makes the prospect of a future republican President highly unlikely. Finally, this talk of seceding from the union sounds a lot like sedition, methinks the Governor of Texas might be a terrorist, get out the water board, time to see what he knows.

    April 16, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  23. Kelby

    I am a 30 year old Black man from the Wonderful city of Houston in The Great State of Texas. I love my city. It is quite underrated. We are quite proud of the ethnic diversity. It's mostly White, Black and Mexican, but we also have large pockets of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, African so on and so forth. We have the best food. You can find anything you want here, I LOVE IT! I also love the state of Texas. It's big, it's beautiful, IT'S HOT!!...it's big. I have also found the people here to be patriotic. We fly the flag of the US and our state flag everywhere we can. The good people in the sate of Texas love the United States Of America...LOVE IT!!! I am so ashamed of Gov. Rick Perry. Does he forget about the sons and duaghters of Texas fight for this great nation?!? Or the fact that the last president came from this state? (some of us are really sorry about that) Or the fact that 2 former Presidents reside in this state? I love Texas, But I love the United States Of America even more which is why I am so ashamed of Governor Rick Perry. His recent statements do not reflect this Texan's s point of view

    April 16, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  24. Amber

    No. Just no. I am a proud Texan, but I am not too proud to leave should this happen. The problems this would cause are just not worth it! I love my country, and I intend to stay in it.

    Rick Perry has honestly not done anything for me in the last few years except allow college to raise my tuition to outrageous levels.

    April 16, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  25. Jamie Robinson

    It's about time! I've long been a supporter of the former Republic of Texas. It would make a great union!

    April 16, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
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