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criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed."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

    Idiots! Go get your own island. I am not leaving Texas and I am a citizen of the USA! Texas has control over our property tax which are sky high. The DART rail line is raising prices again and it is a state issue and you are complaining about the federal tax. Get a grip all you psychos that are for this you are going to have a bigger fight on your hands than you expect and nothing brings down a nation faster than INFIGHTING! Look at the republican party.

    April 16, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  2. Danielle

    Good, and take George Bush with you!

    April 16, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  3. DB

    Go. Make sure to take your share of the federal deficit, and fork over all aid you do receive from the federal government, before you go.

    April 16, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  4. Mr. Politics

    I think it is simply idiotic to say that a state will secede from the union. It is illegal and all those responsible will be sent to jail. Not to mention, I'm sure there would be a large amount of people in Texas who do not want to secede. This governor, like Palin, is an idiot who is just saying this to appease voters when his reelection is near.

    April 16, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. John

    The day Texas Secede, they will be invaded by Mexico the next day!

    April 16, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  6. Dave B

    In an escalation of outrageous rhetoric this one is the most irresponsible. However it's not surprising since some Republicans are hoping Obama/country fails. Sounds like treason.

    April 16, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  7. evan lyons

    How can the Republicans claim to be the party of fiscal responsibility only a few short months after racking up the largest deficits in history? I feel they are simply placing a political bet that Obama's policies are unable to quickly reverse the damage their party has done. They have no answers, no plans – only mindless criticism to inspire fear.

    April 16, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  8. Mike Lady

    Let's hope Texas secedes. They can then handle their own immigration issues and save the rest of us taxpayers a lot of money.

    April 16, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  9. Jim

    This is absurd. Talking about rebellion, revolution, and secession because a political party lost a democratic election is not patriotic or in the spirit of freedom; its irresponsible and childish. Those who do not like the government's policies should vote in the next election, just like everyone else.

    April 16, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  10. David

    I beginning to feel that the GOP, which means Grand Old Party, key word old, is really out of touch. We have 8 years of hell and in four months you can talk secession.

    April 16, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  11. Bravado in Boston

    OK. Let them go.

    Then we, the UNITED States of America can impose economic sanctions, freeze their assets deposted in USA backs, call all their "Treasury Backed Securities", impose travel restrictions over the USA's boarders, slap a trade embargo on them, triple importation tariffs, buy oil from other countries, take back all the infrastructure that the Federal Dollars have built including the miles and miles of "their" pipelines, move "our" military off their land, take back all the National Guard's arms, don't allow importations of any water, electric, or food, scramble our television and radio signals, don't buy any of their "rebel beef" and then, in about 10 years, we can stop by and see how they are doing in their little "dust bowl."

    Sounds like fun! We should let them go!

    April 16, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  12. John E Lexington KY

    After what that fake Texan just did to the country for eight years, why don't we throw Texas out of the union? Isn't Perry's ludicrous speech treason? The right wing has destroyed the industrial base of the country, trashed the country's standing in the world and is still fighting battles ended 144 years ago. Perry wants to run for president – of a country he wants to succeed from. At least Jefferson Davis was clear what he wanted to be president of. A dangerous clown.

    The racist cast of the 'tea bag parties' was tame compared to this garbage.

    April 16, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  13. Rachel F.

    I am a Texan, and this is humiliating. Please note: the VAST majority of Texans do no want to secede.

    April 16, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  14. Jason S.

    I'd like to see how the governor proposes to control his border with Mexico without federal assistance.

    April 16, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  15. Jaimon

    Secession won't be necessary. That said, I do not understand killing a bunch of people to force them to stay in the U.S. The bigger issue is how Texas would handle Texans who DIDN'T want to secede.

    April 16, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  16. Lorax

    I am a Texan, I love Texas. But if anyone was thumbing their nose at the American people it was the Bush administration. They started a senseless and costly war which has taken thousands of lives and curbed of our rights and freedoms. No one cared, it was other people's children but now that it is time for each of us to pay our fair share they start talking about secession.

    If Texas does not secede their will be another civil war. I might consider myself a Texan but I am an American first and I would rather die than see this Union be dissolved.

    Shame on on you Governor Perry. Independence is one thing, selfishness is another.

    April 16, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  17. Matt

    Never gonna happen so why even make it news.

    April 16, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  18. frank

    The Republicans are in a funk, loss in the wind and reduced to a tea party with their OWN conservative base! WOW!

    It's not a republican thing.......did you catch any of it?.................I was impressed with the people and why they were there. I do believe you have a problem on your hands.

    April 16, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  19. Sam

    An example of true patriotism from the governor. How do you feel about fair weather friends? What a hypocrite.

    April 16, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  20. ran

    What a joke both this Gov. and chucky are. People of Tx wake up before it is too late. Theses type people want to go back to the 1880s.

    April 16, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  21. Shawn

    Go ahead, Texas. Secede. I don't think many Americans will cry for you. Good luck on that little border problem of yours.

    When can we expect the border states of OK, AR, and LA to become the new front for the drug wars?

    Chuck Norris? Oh, my. Molly Ivens and Ann Richards are giggling in their graves.

    April 16, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  22. Gerald

    Rick Perry is an embarrassment. That makes two governors in a row who seem to be utterly clueless. The only people that sort of ridiculous statement could possibly appeal to also probably applauded Chuck Norris' similar assertion. Texas does not need this kind of publicity.

    April 16, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  23. Jeremy

    Im moving to Texas....

    April 16, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  24. lkh

    this man is irresponsible and down right frightening.

    April 16, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  25. Joe - Chicago

    So you're a traitor if you question Bush's policies, but if you talk about succeeding from the nation, you're still a patriot? Good to know.

    April 16, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
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