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criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed."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

    Why does Gov. Rick Perry hate America so much??
    He is willing to breakup our great country because he disagrees with our president... HOW SELFISH!!

    April 16, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  2. Larry Buchas

    Great idea. Unfortunately, the smart Texans and the needy ones are left out of the equation.

    The Governor has sentimental feelings towards 1845. Maybe they can fight the Mexican War all over again?

    I've got news for you, Governor. You're no Sam Houston. You are out of your mind.

    April 16, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  3. Ed Hernandez

    I live in Texas and believe me that is the last thing I would want my state to do. This is all political rhetoric and hopefully Perry is removed from office in the next election. He turned down some of the stimulus money but still took a large portion of it. Can you imagine if the late Ann Richards talked like this. She would have been impeaced and called a traitor.

    April 16, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  4. Mark

    Okay, great....I say we remove our military bases and other federal institutions from Texas and let them have their independence. Oh, and where was their outcry during the Bush years?

    April 16, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. Foreign observer

    This guy should get a trial because he doesn´t obey to the constitution. Not worth to represent the great state of Texas.

    April 16, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  6. Vet for Obama

    Unfortunately, I'm sort of stuck in Texas for the moment. I love Dallas for many reasons, but despise the state of Texas for others. Let this secession happen and I will be on the first flight out of Redneck Nation.

    April 16, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  7. The Slayer

    I hope so...a dream come true at last. At least we won't have to put up with their whining. And overnight, the number of idiots in these United States will be cut by half!

    April 16, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  8. Ron

    Let's do it!

    April 16, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  9. ronald

    where were this clowns when Bush was running up the tab, which why we are where we are today.

    April 16, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  10. Brian Crooks

    Why is this OK?!?! When liberals said they disagreed with the Iraq war, people asked them, "Why do you hate America?" Now this guy is talking about a civil war breaking out and Texas leaving the union (the term for this is sedition) and he gets to stay in office! There needs to be an accounting of which elected Republicans support and agree with him and which ones FINALLY draw the line.

    April 16, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  11. Kevin

    Please let this happen. I would move to Texas in a heartbeat. I hope other states that are fed up with the spend, spend, spend fiscal irresponsibility of the government start talking secession. This is the only way to wake up the republicans, democrats, and liberals. It is the best way to free ourselves from the current tyranny and repression of the present (and past) US administrations. Vote for secession!!

    April 16, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  12. tom

    "But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people,"
    is he referring to the government in Washington recently swept into office that is still earning high approval ratings? what a joke. if a democrat were to say something like this, the flag waving conservatives would be repeatedly questioning his patriotism, but he can get away with it because he has an (R) at the end of his name instead of a (D).
    it's funny, when liberals aren't happy with the actions of the government, they talk of fleeing for Canada. when conservatives aren't happy with the actions of the government, they threaten revolution. which is more treasonous?

    April 16, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  13. Kentucky

    The Republican party is no longer the party of Abraham Lincoln. The Republican party left Lincoln in the 1960's when it's heroes ,Goldwater and Reagan, oppossed all of the Civil Rights Bills, and claimed it was a State's Right to segregate the races. Now, the Republicans have completely become the Party of Jefferson Davis with all this talk of Secession. I will take Abraham Lincoln over Jefferson Davis any day of the year. Lincoln must be rolling over in his grave. The Republican Party has become the Party of Secession from Alaska to Texas. It is sad to see what the Republican Party has become in this year that we celebrate Lincoln's 200th birthday.

    April 16, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  14. Angela

    The problem with the governor's statement is that he too, as other repblicans, do not understand or acknowledge that the country has changed. Gov. Perry is practicing what he knows, old style politics. The threat of taking your ball and going home...maybe even starting another team, if you do not let me play, is kid's play that you learn before reaching adolescence.

    Texas is a republican state, but the major cities are gradually changing from red to blue. You should know that Rick Perry is not very popular in Texas and will more than likely lose the next election.

    April 16, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  15. Chuck

    President-elect Obama has been in office less than 100 days and, yet, the tea party partisans are blaming him for everything that happened over the last eight miserable and contentious years of the failed Cheney/Bush administration.

    Suggest you all give President Obama at least a year or two before you start nailing him. Obviously, the Republicans and racists of this country cannot wait this long. What is the matter with you people?

    Remember, the majority of us citizens elected this man and that should tell you something. Live with the decision and give President Obama a break just like you all did with Cheney/Bush for eight years..

    April 16, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  16. Florida Dude

    It amazes me that we never got all this treason talk when Bush was President or even Clinton. There have been othere recessions before this latest recession so it make me think there is more to this one. Republican are only to eager to fan the flames for their own benifit.

    Is race a motive for some of this???/ Me thinks...YES

    April 16, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  17. Dave in Albuquerque

    Having fallen flat on their face in the arena of ideas, the Republicans are focused on grabbing headlines. Rick Perry's comments are a case in point. Their antics will play well to a small fraction of the public, but I feel for the many, many Texans who are forced to hear their state's name mentioned in the same breath as such foolishness.

    April 16, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  18. AJ

    What an idiot. Let them go and the sooner the better. Then Texas can estbablish it's own little theocracy and hopefully be a magnet for the other right wing fanatic nutballs that live in these united states.

    April 16, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  19. Andrew

    United we stand, divided we fall. Although, if Texas seceded, Bush wouldn't be an American citizen anymore... DO IT!

    April 16, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  20. Mike in NYC

    I have no problem with secession on principle.

    The problem is that, considering Texas' demographics, it'll kick off its independence as a Third World nation. Not too good.

    April 16, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  21. Nate

    I live in Texas and I wouldn't mind seceding from the Union if Obama keeps spending the way he does. It's 'generational theft'!

    April 16, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  22. D.

    Chuck Norris? Is that the same guy I saw with Mike Huckabee last year? Ha Ha! I'm sure he's not all representative of Texas, so I'm not going to say anything bad about the Great State.

    April 16, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  23. Jim Cornelson

    These people are traitors. Personally, I think they should secede. We can pull Nasa out....we won't have to make social security payments to the state. They would have to deal with the border problem. Problem is, it would become just another thug state like Iran, Syria or North Korea. In many ways, it wouldn't be worth fighting them. However; the south tried to leave the union once before and as a country we made it plain that was unacceptable. Actually, it sounds like the governor of Texas and many of its citizens have something in common with Al Queda. They don't like the United States and they want to overthrow it. It wouldn't surprise me if the Texas governor would team up with Al Queda and other Right Wing Neo Nazi Americans and try to secede. Rather ironic. Yes, political leaders like the Governor of Texas, and the Governor of Alaska (who once was a member of a party supporting secession) are traitors and should be in prison with people who think like them...at Guantanamo.

    April 16, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  24. Nutjobs I tell ya

    Rick Perry is a Traitor, plain and simple....

    Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1869) was argued before the United States Supreme Court in 1869. The Court held in a 5–3 decision that the Constitution did not permit states to secede from the United States, and that the ordinances of secession, and all the acts of the legislatures within seceding states intended to give effect to such ordinances, were "absolutely null".

    In the constitution you can "revolt" against government, but you can't secede...Hamilton (one of the fathers of the constitution) argued this point consistantly.

    April 16, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  25. Alex

    This man should be impeached. Secession? What is this the 1850s? The fact that Texans want this man speaking for them is embarrassing for them.

    April 16, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
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