July 23rd, 2010
05:59 PM ET
12 years ago

Tennessee Republican floats secession threat

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/23/art.wamp.file.gi.jpg caption ="Tennessee Congressman Zach Wamp argued that mandates forced on the states by the Obama administration's health care bill have put secession on the table."]

(CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry's suggestion in April 2009 that his state might consider secession drew a round of mockery nationwide, but his blustery populist rhetoric earned him serious traction among GOP primary voters in his re-election fight against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Perry, riding a tide of anti-Washington sentiment, went on to trounce Hutchison and another candidate in the Republican primary earlier this year.

Now another gubernatorial hopeful is test-driving a similar message.

Rep. Zach Wamp, one of three candidates seeking the GOP gubernatorial nomination in Tennessee, told Hotline OnCall that Perry had the right idea. Wamp argued that mandates forced on the states by the Obama administration's health care bill have put secession on the table.

"I hope that the American people will go to the ballot box in 2010 and 2012 so that states are not forced to consider separation from this government," Wamp told Hotline OnCall Friday.

Wamp said he hopes voters send a message in November that the federal government should "strictly adhere" to the Constitution.

"Patriots like Rick Perry have talked about these issues because the federal government is putting us in an untenable position at the state level," he told OnCall.

His primary opponents, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, both told the website they don't support secession.

Filed under: 2010 • Bill Haslam • Popular Posts • Ron Ramsey • Tennessee • Zach Wamp
soundoff (258 Responses)
  1. Jason

    Typical Republican. They claim to be so Patriotic but the moment they don't get their way, like traitors they want to succeed from the US and fight against it.

    July 23, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  2. Robert Cloosdoosch

    Good Riddance

    July 23, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  3. Dee

    Oh my heavens he wants to secede over healthcare! In every administration there are some policies that some of us like and some we hate. This is regardless of party. That is called democracy. We do not all have to think alike. That is the Taliban.

    July 23, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  4. Tony

    This is the DUMBEST thing I've ever heard any GOPer utter. Period.

    July 23, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  5. Brian

    How are threats from the GOP about state secession not the most un-American idea ever? Just because your party lost an election cycle because the voters thought that your ideas about government and policy were completely based on fear. The GOP offers no real solution but leave as a state from the country. This kind of rhetoric is political posturing to motivate voters.

    I don't understand this party at all. They want limited government but they also want to dictate what goes on in peoples' lives. They promote life for newborns but criticize social programs that help raise children. This is the party of oxymorons. The Great Oxymoron Party.

    July 23, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  6. Tristan


    July 23, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  7. Rusty Burgoon-Clark

    If we let 'em leave THIS time, can we make 'em promise to STAY gone???

    July 23, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  8. Carol

    There are certain states in the USA that I would be happy to see gone!!!! Bye Bye extremists!

    July 23, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  9. t.c.

    Good luck with that...

    July 23, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  10. Paula

    I know this is a bit of political grandstanding but afraid some folks think secession would be viable-this state would become like a third world country!

    July 23, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  11. John

    Republicans want to secede just because conditions are tough? Didn't those same Republicans label that "cutting and running?"

    July 23, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  12. John

    Is this guy nuts!? As a Canadian observer I think its absolute madness what is happening in your country. The level of hatred towards Obama is utterly insane & for no other reason than the color of his skin....bar none! Its laughable to think a few southern racists would be willing to re-enact the Civil War over this (thats what it is this healthcare BS is just a sorry excuse). Does anyone with half a brain even see this like myself & I dont even live in your country. Racism is alive & well in your country & its a damn shame because 99.9999999999% of the people are the best but its these few idiots who are causing the divisons whether its the Tea Party people (stop protesting & get a job) or these southern Republican stiffs this needs to stop.

    Obama needs to grow a set & put the hammer down on these goofs whether its a constitutional amendment, proclaimation, law, it doesnt matter but these knuckleheads need to be stopped before anymore undo harm is done to the Republic For Which It Stands....I am out!

    July 23, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  13. Nick

    Treason......plain and simple....

    July 23, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  14. Sebastian Haff

    Of course, this right-wing blowhard probably spends half his life calling liberals traitors, but then he has no qualms about actually advocating treachery.

    Health care and consumer's rights do not equal treachery.

    Treachery equals treachery.

    July 23, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  15. Texas Progressive

    These cheap tricks are bordering on seditious acts. As an Army Officer I was bound to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. We were also expected to refrain from accepting bribes from people who wanted to do business with the Federal Government. Could politicians make the grade? Of course they wouldn't. The honor associated with serving our Nation was reason enough to adhere to a strict code of ethics and to remain patriotic to America. Rick Perry, and these other weasels dividing Americans with what would be treasonous behavior for an Army Officer, are held in high esteem by our right-wing. They'd never be granted a top-secret clearance with such obvious disloyalty to our Country.

    July 23, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  16. Don Wuerl

    This is treason talk! What are you thinking? You will have nothing but problems that you will never be able to handle! Get real, gents!

    July 23, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  17. GI Joe

    Go ahead – the other states can charge you to drive on their highways – the insurance companiies can treat your constituents as "out of the country" and ineligible for their policies - when you need help for food, floods, tornados, etc. – CALL TEXAS.

    July 23, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  18. Biff

    This is nothing less than an attempt at extortion from a cheap politician of a weak state, amounting to treason. Like a baby who didn't get his way in nursery school.

    This guy is using words like "Patriot" instead of "traitor" and floating concepts like succession around like it will NOT cause a civil war

    Regardless of your political ideals threatening succession is an act of cowardice and treason. Can't solve your problem? Leave. Can't find enough votes or gather enough support? When the going gets tough, Quit. It's the Tennessee way. That's what this dingbat is saying...

    So to my American brothers and sisters, especially my good friends from Tenn. Do YOU feel this way? Do YOU want to see Tennessee become the weakest country in the world? Landlocked and surrounded by their newly chosen enemy? Do YOU want to give up your military, your nukes, your economic support, your road maintenance, your parks, your NFL Titans? Do YOU want to see the country music industry MOVE to New York? Talk about baby with the bathwater!

    Seriously, it is time to UNITE in the face of adversity, not run away!

    July 23, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  19. buster

    sad thing is people will take this clown seriously – funny how any dissent was unpatriotic from 2000-2008 but now its par for the course...

    July 23, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  20. Michael

    These guys are not patriots. They are simply anarchists that wrap themselves in the American flag......much like Benadict Arnold.

    July 23, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  21. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Pandering Dipwad. Tomorrow he will say he "misspoke" and that his remarks were "taken out of context" and he will apologize if his comments were "misconstrued". But the fact remains that this guy is a tool.

    July 23, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  22. Obama in 2012

    Wah, I'm taking my state and going home :*(

    July 23, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  23. Cathy

    Sounds like a plan to me. It might be a good thing if Texas and Tennessee both left the USA. Though, I have to admit I might miss Tennessee a bit if it was no longer part of the country.

    July 23, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  24. Ted

    Please do secede and please take Texas with you. Matter of fact, I think the whole South should secede and the North should let them. We'll see which one fares better.

    I'm so sick of conservative reprobates screwing this country.

    Oh, one thing: No more slavery. If you try it again, we'll kick your butt again.

    July 23, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  25. Brian Richards

    Give him a fair trial and hang him. He's a traitor. Then hunt down the people who support him and give them a fair trial and hang them too - they are traitors.

    There is no way I will vote for any person or party that endorses tearing this nation apart.

    Hang them all. NOW!

    July 23, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
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