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criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed."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

    It is completely unprofessional and improper for the governor of a state to embrace the possibility of seceding. Perhaps Gov. Perry should tell the people of Texas how he plans to make up for the loss of Federal funds his state receives from the United States of America. Is he going to open the borders or will Texas also increase spending on border patrol/security? The list goes on. Wake up and smell the tea you are dumping Texas.

    April 16, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  2. Lynda

    A perfect example of why this country is in the state it's in. Don't hang in there and be part of the solution, just run away from the problem. Maybe they could be part of Mexico and then we'd have illegal Texans coming north.

    April 16, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  3. Jeffrey in Seattle

    So Perry is a closet traitor. Wow.

    April 16, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  4. KIR

    He wouldn't have made that come if a Bush was still president.

    April 16, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  5. melissa

    This shows how stupid these people are. You are agree over what the last administration started but you never complained then. Go ahead and leave!

    April 16, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  6. BaRock says

    how about this ricky, an immediate call for you to be removed from office expeditiously!!!

    should your insanity allow you to make it to the next election, you will not be getting my vote. what do you want, chuck norris for president – that imbecile?!

    April 16, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  7. Blynn

    The best thing about Texas is Austin; that being said the worst thing about Austin is Rick Perry and the fact that Austin is surrounded by Texas. I am part of the "American people" that Gov. pretty hair is referring to, and honestly I don't believe, and MANY people I know here feel the same way, that Washington is thumbing their noses at Texas. Time will tell, and actually it is really showing the truth already, that these hardline repubs are wrong.

    April 16, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  8. Nick

    And these are the same people that called Obama "unpatriotic" for not wearing a flag pin. This is the most unpatriotic thing anyone could do.

    April 16, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  9. cheryl

    Let's see; the states are just as guilty of over spending money as the feds, don't listen or have the best interest of their people at heart, but yet don't want to take any blame for the mess in which this country is in. Pot meet kettle, kettle meet pot.

    April 16, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  10. tiff of lithia springs

    I think this has been against the law since the civil war. Send the governor and Chuck Norris to jail.

    April 16, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  11. Martin

    I say let them go. But upon letting them go, the U.S. should 1) Call in all debt Texas has to the U.S. Government and 2) Immediately suspend the privileges of Texas' Congressmen and Senators. This is so stupid as to be childish. It is the political equivilent of taking your toys and leaving the sandbox because the other kids get along better.

    Texas, I say to you, Grow Up!

    April 16, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  12. Seth

    I'd Love to see them do that, then we could treat them like a Third-World Country that they would become.
    Texans would need a visa to come to America.
    They would become just like another Caribbean fail State country.
    No foreign aid for Texas
    Used border patrol to keep them from coming to the the rich States.
    America would actually be able to fix it's debt problem if we got rid of some of those loser States, the rich States are already Blue States so we will then have harmony.

    April 16, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  13. David

    If you would had talked this way during the BUSH administration, this so-called Governor would had already been shipped off to some secluded island in the Gulf and possibly given the Cheney spa treatment.

    April 16, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  14. Cody O

    If the "geniuses" in Washington don't get their acts together and remember that they are supposed to represent the people of the United States, then as a native Texan, I would wholeheartedly support secession.

    April 16, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  15. Linda, NY

    Let them go....they can try to defend themselves against the border wars without the forces of the United States government to back them...I suspect that between the danger posed without our military and the loss of their state tax "free-zone" Texans will be begging to be let back into our country.

    April 16, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  16. sean

    GOOD!! Its about time one of the state stood up to this tyranny!!!

    April 16, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  17. Hopeful Optimist

    This is what happens when you elect an Aggie governor. He embarrasses us all.

    April 16, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  18. phillip burns

    where in the US Consitution does it allow a mechanism for a state to secede? ??

    April 16, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  19. jillbeme

    Governor Perry and Chuck Norris are not representative of this Texan.

    April 16, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  20. Clay

    Well that's just great. Had they seceeded before Bush was elected we wouldn't be in the mess we're in. They should be forced to stay in the union whether they like it or not. What a load...

    April 16, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  21. Freethinkingtoo

    Let them secede! They think they have a heavy tax burden now, let them see how much it will cost them to deal with the Mexican Drug War alone and the influx of illegal aliens!

    This "Tea Party" is Storm in a Teapot! If the average american wants a significant tax break shut down off shore tax havens. A minimum, 40-45,000 US citizens hide approximate 100 billion in assets each year. This would be equivalent to a $725.00 rebate to the average taxpayer, if these tax evaders paid their fair share. These evaders want the freedom to make their wealth provided under the US Capitalistic system yet don't want to pay for it. What an insult to the US Soldiers who fight and die to defend this country!!!!! Shutdown these tax havens!!!1

    April 16, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  22. R Henry

    I suppose mentioning the sacrifices made during the American Civil War would be a waste of time at this point.

    Since Texas Leadership expresses an obvious disdain for the UNITED STATES, since they seemingly welcome a huge influx of illegal immigrants anyway, and since they have a huge amount of weapon carrying miliita to police and defend themselves – I say good-bye Lone Star state .

    April 16, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  23. Kenyotta

    I was born and raised here in Texas. I don't particularly care for the city I stay in now, but I love the state. After reading this, I think I'm going to slide over to New Mexico or Oklahoma. This "gentleman" is political posturing for the presidency in 2012. I have tolerated this "gentleman" in hopes that enough Texans would be willing to bite the bullet and keep him here instead of sending him behind our last governor. We know how well that worked out.

    April 16, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  24. kay

    This isnt fair America. Bush killed US economy , no one kicked him out of the office or say anything, now a BLACK MAN is the President, u want to secede.............Racism is bigtime alive.................

    April 16, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  25. Zach K

    Well I guess this is the message of what the bitter GOP have told us:

    The Apple Does Not Fall Far From The Bush.

    April 16, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
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