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criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed."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

    This is so sad. I am a Texan, but I am an American first. Our gov needs to shut up.

    April 16, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  2. Abe

    Good riddens. Is there anyway to expedite this process? We can not afford to ever have another president from the "country" of Texas.

    April 16, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  3. Brian

    What an unpatriotic nut job.

    April 16, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  4. k

    You have got to be kidding me. The GOP is really going down the tubes.

    April 16, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  5. TJHeraty

    I do not believe that Texas can actually secede from the Union. I do recall from my History classes that they have the right to divide into four (4) separate states.

    April 16, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  6. Andrea

    Oh, Gov. Perry, if you are so interested in seceeding, please make sure to repay the US people all of the money that Texas has receieved from the federal government. You know, all of the money that has gone in to your coffers from the military bases, disaster relief, infrastructure, etc that you would never have been able to afford on your own.

    Ah, the stupidity that pours from the mouths of those who want to run for president in 4 years.

    April 16, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  7. erw

    Conservatives can stop saying liberals hate America. You can't support anything more un-american than this. Let them secede. We can then build that wall.

    April 16, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  8. marlene

    Gov. Perry should be careful what plans for the future he hopes come true! After his own state legislators pressured him to take the federal stimulus money for Texas, he is now supporting those who call for action which will enable Texas to divorce itself from America. This is just wrong thinking! I guess the real answer will be when the Texas voters decide who will represent the Republicans in the election for the next Texas Gov. Good Luck! Marlene in Mich

    April 16, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  9. Liberal4Obama

    That has got to be the most boneheaded irresponsible comment I have ever heard from a sitting governor, truly shameful, and this from the party and the people who's campaign slogan was putting "Country First"?

    April 16, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  10. Paul

    This is the most un-American talk I've heard in a long while. If Governor Perry is so unhappy with being an American, then perhaps he should leave. I, for one, would be happy to see him go. He's an idiot.

    April 16, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. Rick

    If this were to happen then I'd certainly move out of Texas. It's bad enough this state is run by neo-conservatives. And just as soon as some of us Texans can look forward to progressiveness these fools start beating their drums. And yes, I'm a native Texan and love my state. Someday, someday...maybe we'll have leaders who think with their head instead of their asses.

    April 16, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  12. David in Austin

    As a young man I had a “Secede” bumper sticker on my car as a sort of political joke, but now the Governor and the state legislature are the political jokes. The treaty that admitted Texas to the union allowed it to divide into five states when the population was large enough. That might be the better way to go. Then the state of Central Texas centered on Austin could have a legislature and governor that lives in the 21st century instead of the 29th; however, the country might not accept a senate with 10 senators from Texas.

    April 16, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  13. Arin

    Aren't these grounds for treason? Should he not be arrested? I guess Perry and his fellow Texans are not patriotic whatsoever.

    April 16, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  14. Dave

    Chuck Norris is a COWARD... Thats right, you heard it here. Why do Republicans want to cut n run every time the going gets tough?
    We here in INdiana love our fellow Americans from Texas, please dont forget that. Brotherly love. America needs Texas NOT Washington DC.
    Long live the USA...

    April 16, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  15. Andrew

    "[S]omeone 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." Unbelievable that a governor of a state in the United States would say something like this. So unpatriotic! Perry should be ashamed of himsefl!

    April 16, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  16. disgusted

    Is this the same Rick Perry that has asked for federal intervention at least 3 times in last 6 months? These guys keep talking about it, they need to either drop it or get the process started. I say let them have their share of the debt and cut them loose. I'll be leading the charge to make sure they don't get any benefits or retirement from my tax dollars. And no trade with the rogue nation of Texas. I sure he understands.

    April 16, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  17. Dave

    It's borderline hilarious that Texas, who gave us George W Bush, Karl Rove and all of the misguided and misapplied policies that drove our nation off a cliff is now talking about becoming it's own nation. May as well make Crawford your new capital Lone Star, it's the only way to truly pay homage to the man responsible. We "upper 47" look forward to your 100 years of war and 30 foot tall border fence.

    April 16, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  18. Jim in Texas

    Wow, sounds like Perry is drinking the Gingrich koolaid. What an ignorant and irresponsible thing for him to say.

    April 16, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  19. Stentor

    As a seventh generation Texan, I am dissapointed that our governor would even make such ignorant comments and suggestions. He is really grasping at anything to win this next election. He needs to stop listening to the naive knuckleheads who now fill his staff, and try to show that he can LEAD even in the face of economic difficulties, not just threaten to RETREAT into a fanciful new independence. How dissapointing.

    April 16, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  20. Jim from Dallas

    As a lifelong Texan, I have always lived under the idea that the most ardent and loyal Texans are even more passionate Americans. Our governor is incredibly out of touch with reality but there is nothing new about that. What a shame this kind of incendiary remark is associated with our state.

    Bring on Kay Bailey, Kinky or anyone else for that matter.

    April 16, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  21. Roy A. Wilson

    I believe that the Texas governor is guilty of High Treason, we have already fought a war in this country about this issue, they lost.

    April 16, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  22. Todd

    I can't help but laugh. For either years Republicans told Democrats "America...love it or leave it." Now that the majority of America decided to vote them out of power, they're threatening to take their ball and go home. What a bunch of pansy whiners. Hey Republicans...got some advice for you...America, love it or leave it!

    April 16, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  23. Former Obama Supporter

    Can I come live there?

    April 16, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  24. James

    Good luck with that Texas. You would have about a week before the entire Mexican Army marched accross your boarders and told you to go to hell.

    Of course, that would be after we kicked you out of the union for being Texas. Thanks for the extra $500 million you morons

    April 16, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  25. Ben12

    Am I the only one who is thrilled at the prospect of Texas seceding from the United States? We should be encouraging this movement. The people of Texas and the politicians they continue to send to Washington have impeded the progress of our nation for too long. Good riddance!

    April 16, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
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