April 17th, 2009
03:45 PM ET
14 years ago

Perry says secession comment misinterpreted

(CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry is dialing back his earlier remark that seemed to suggest he was open to secession, telling reporters Thursday his state is "part of a great union."

"I was kinda thinking that, maybe the same people who hadn't been reading the constitution right were reading that article and they got the wrong impression about what I said," he told reporters as in the Texas State House.

"Clearly, I stated that we have a great union. And Texas is part of a great union. I see no reason for that to change. I think that may not be the exact quote, but that is, in essence what I said," he added.

Perry's original comments on the matter came Wednesday at a "Tea Party" even in Austin, when he railed against the federal government for what he said were infringements of states' rights and repeated violations of the 10th amendment of the Constitution - the provision that establishes Federalism. (Video below: Perry fires up 'Tea Party' crowd)

"There's a lot of different scenarios," Perry said Wednesday as crowd members shouted calls for secession. "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."

In clarifying his remarks Thursday, Perry also said he has "never been prouder of Texans" for standing up to Washington, DC.

"I think you will see more and more this type of response to a government that is rather unresponsive to the people of this country and Texas was right at the forefront of that yesterday," he said.

Meanwhile, Texas Democrats have sharply criticized Perry's original comment, calling it an "attack on our country."

"It is the ultimate anti-American statement," State Rep. Jim Dunnam of Waco told reporters Thursday.

Filed under: Rick Perry
soundoff (289 Responses)
  1. Sean

    Gov. Perry is a traitor to this nation. Afraid to join with the country to work to fix our problems and instead run from them by calling to secede.

    Does he forget it was great Americans from OTHER states in our union who tried to defend the Alamo and win his own states freedom?

    What a hypocrite!

    April 17, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  2. Sam

    Real smart governor you got there, Texas.

    April 17, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  3. get real

    Michelle Bachman, is Perry on your list of politicians who are anti-Americans? He doesn't want to be part of this country. Is Dude Palin on the list for thinking Alaska is better as its own country?

    Half of the federal budget is poured into military spending. Lockheed Martin and others are in Texas. Your state is mostly employed because of the federal government, Perry.

    The Dixie Chicks (entertainers) say the are embarrassed by W and they get death threats and are called traitors, but Perry whips a mob into a frenzy saying he wants to kiss the great USA goodbye and this government official suffers no harsh ridicule from the right? Texas, please put some grown-ups in charge.

    April 17, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  4. Don't Let The Door Hit Ya...

    Where the good Lord split ya. If you want to secede, BYE!

    April 17, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. lh

    Perry has a lot of nerve to talk about unconstitutional FEDERAL taxes when we are practically being taxed out of our homes with property taxes to fund our schools. This 'robin hood' tax system here has us paying twice what our property taxes in California were and our property there was valued 3 times higher than our property here. Sure you can claim that California has a state income tax that levels the amount but, if you got laid off or can't work because of a disability or retire, you are no longer paying a state income tax. In Texas, if you are not working for those reasons, you do not get the equivalent tax relief. If Perry were truly out to do what is right instead of trying to garner votes, he would straighten out the situation in his home state.

    April 17, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  6. Scott the Independent

    @ Rob Turak – when reminds the listeners that under the original treaty and agreement Texas has the right to withdraw from the union of the United States of America if they are please with federal governance. Almost everyone that has seen this is in agreement that he not only implies secession but advocates it in addtion to follow comments he has made in other statements.

    April 17, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. A Concerned Citizen

    The Obama administration and all the Liberals in control of Congress need to really wake up and really begin listening to the American people. This is not just a Republican/Conservative outcry -these are strictly hardworking patriotic amercians who are fed up with big goverment, too much spending and the increasing movement to go away from a free capitalistic society and into Socialism and to change the vision of our founding fathers and what our constitution stands for. The mainstream Media impartial left wing sympathizers also need to stop manipulating everything and making this into a Right wing conspiracy. These protests will not go away until the government begins to listen to the voice of the people.

    April 17, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. Les, Utah

    Many people have already pointed out how often most Republicans (and some Dems) make stupid statements and then use the old 'misinterpreted' excuse and apologize w/o apologiizing, so there's no reason to beat that horse more.
    I would say that Fox News idiots are not in the above category. None of them ever apologize for any of their lies and misinforming B. S.
    But for Sherry in S.C and all such nonsense about the Obama administration wanting to rule the country and tell all of us what we have to do, have any of you read the memos from the Bush-Chaney years that were released yesterday? Or can you even read? That's a legitimate question, especially if you're from SC.

    April 17, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |

    Rick Perry and his loyal followers should secede from the planet.

    April 17, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    This is not anti-american.. in fact it is the most American thing in the word!
    Our country was built as a loose federation of individual states, specifically to avoid being supressed by a large goverment and built into our rights is the right to disagree with and evem rebel against the federal government.

    April 17, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  11. The Voice

    Looks like he need to go tea bag Bush for what he did the last eight years. Oh and his Republican buddies too!

    April 17, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. john

    to leave the united states would show that texas does not need to be treated this way. texas has the right to leave the union when ever they want to they have all the resorces the need an even a military place and even a way to trade with other counties they even also have the right of freedom of speech as we all do in other words why are you afraid of change and why do you critisize the govenor of texas for protecting his people from these hard times

    April 17, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. MADinAZ

    The last time these right-wing crazies talked like this, we ended up with 300 people killed in Oklahoma City.


    April 17, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. anonymous

    IT is not treason if you look back at the history books and read the conditions if the texas joining the united states one was that they would be allowed to lawfully succeed.

    April 17, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
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