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. Future expat

    This fool is on record saying that health care is a privilege not a right. You can find clips of it on YouTube.

    July 23, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  2. Sandy Carey

    Another half-wit heard from! THIN THE HERD!!

    July 23, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  3. Julian

    why is it that the right wingers are the first to accuse someone of not being American enough, and then are also the first to threaten to secede. Maybe they're not nationalistic but opportunistic.

    July 23, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  4. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    So now another dumb redneck has to throw out that silly idea. Please leave the union but how will your state survive without the federal funding you now recieve? Be pretty hard for a state likre Tennesee to make it without the pork your reps and senators bring home for you. Best yet, any cars you make in that state that are made by non union shops could have a nice fat tarrif slapped on them.

    July 23, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  5. Michael

    It is an amazing thing to see Republicans talk about patriotism in one breath and then in the next if things don't go their way they speak of succession. It is patriotic to have all sides their times as the populace votes for it and not to be in a huff when they don't vote your way. If not, then the preamble is set in place for subjugation. It has seem that conservatives feel it is their right to rule and no others can. Great for those who agree with them not so great for those who do not.

    July 23, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  6. Tinwood

    Spare me. Crybaby.

    July 23, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  7. Larry Kimbrough

    Zach Wamp is pandering to the right. Secession? What other bs will come from the Wamp campaign?

    July 23, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  8. Sunny SD

    Hey if TX and TN want to secede...let's let them do it. Put their money where their mouth is. Of course the great citizens of these states must realize that all the 'socialist' programs such as Medicare, Soc Sec, military protection, emergency relief funds, etc. no longer apply to them. Have a nice day in your new countries. I am sure Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin would be great leaders for them. Talk about Darwinism in reverse.

    This country better wake up before the clowns totally take over....and then watch our Constitution be converted to the Corporate Manifesto and one day everyone will say 'what happened'?

    July 23, 2010 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  9. Patriot

    Please go, Tennessee, and take Alaska and the rest of the South with you!!

    July 23, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. marc in california

    democrats are helping pass healthcare legislation and increasing unemployment benefits while republicans are talking about secession. tell me again why republicans have the slight advantage in november again?

    July 23, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  11. Jim

    So the federal government would be bringing 21B to Health Care in Tennessee – and 1B is too much for Tennessee to pony up over the same five year time period? For Tennessee – that's an investment that yields a 2000% return – but I don't know – maybe they're holding out for a better deal?

    July 23, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  12. Frank in Valparaiso Indiana

    GOP traitorous idiots.

    July 23, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  13. Barbara

    Tenn and any other state who thinks they have been so "put upon" by the current administration...Please – go for it. When you have the next round of tornados, floods, or due tell "earth-quakes" see if you can call the ghost busters. Being opposed to an administration's policies is one thing (and not always necessarily bad) – fear mongering and scare tactics are another. Shame on you and good luck with your "elect me for now" idea. You don't have the guts...

    July 23, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  14. fideauxdon

    Gee, what would we do without Texas? Let's give it a try! Just getting rid of the hot air spewed by Gov. Perry and Joe Barton in an average week would eliminate the spectre of Global Warming!

    July 23, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    It's funny how history repeats itself. The Black issue was the cause of the secession that lead to the Civi War. The Black issue(Obama) will once again lead to secession that may end in a political war.

    July 23, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. Jaison Diaz

    This is getting out of hand. It's getting to the point where on a daily basis we continue to have to deal with these right wing mentally deficient individuals. It's sad that such a vocal minority continue to make headlines by spouting such hateful and moronic statements such as "secession" from the union due to the fact that, God forbid, we want all Americans to have equal access to health care.

    I see an awful lot of hate and name calling and threats from the far right wing and yet not an awful lot of SOLUTIONS to solving our common problems other then finger pointing and threats to leave the union.

    Get a grip Rep. Zach Wamp!

    July 23, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  17. Jim Bourque

    Let 'em go. We should have done so the first time.

    July 23, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  18. Shoreline

    Yet another Neo-Confederate trying to appeal to the worst characteristics of human frailty.

    It is extremely disappointing that even in the 21st Century, America still has to deal with treasonous scum like this.

    July 23, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  19. Matt

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

    I agree! The Patriot Act should be thrown out and all of the Bush/Cheney cronies in the OLC should be thrown in jail for their memos that gave the executive branch more power than at any other time in history.

    I love how it's all about "country first USA USA USA" chest bumping flag waving crap...right up until it's not YOUR team in control. How are we supposed to feel bad for these morons and their dire state budget situation when they won't take federal money to help their people. Seems like an awfully big gamble just to look "tough". Sooner or later their constituents will pay for it, but of course, they won't blame the governors who put them in the bind.

    July 23, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  20. Big Ed

    Let them go! Let's see how well they do establishing their own currency, raise their own military, raise taxes to compensate for what they would lose in federal funding for roads, schools, etc. It's a knee-jerk comment based on stirring up emotions without giving the real prospect of secession serious thought. Your mouth is writing checks your butt can't cash!

    July 23, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  21. Cynthia - Arkansas

    How can these ANTI-AMERICAN people get elected. True leaders try and lift this country UP, not tear it DOWN. Shameless fools playing to a base of idiots. No schools, no military, no roads. Real smart!

    July 23, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  22. Drew

    Didn't Tennessee try that once before? A thorough "wamping" was the result, if memory serves.

    July 23, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  23. Jack Kegley

    Hum, strictly adhere to the Constitution of the United States. Interesting, since the founders added 10 amendments to it almost immediately because they felt it did not say enough specifically on current subjects and the country has added 17 more changes since then. Stick to the original constitution or the new one or somewhere in between. The last time a groups of individuals talked about secession, it cost 645,000 American lives, millions of wounded and fractured the country for another 100 years. It just might not be the best solution to the current feelings about the government. Logical, objective, and civil discourse will probably make a greater difference in the long run and bring the country together rather than tear it apart

    July 23, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  24. mike in LA

    What a joke. The trouble with politics is idiot politicians like this one. We in California get back a lot less revenue than we send to the Feds, and states like Tennessee are the ones that suck in the extra dollars. So go ahead and secede. Just wait until all those car companies that manufacture realize that they have to move to be in the United States. When your unemployment goes to 25% the voters will kick your @#$ to the curb where it belongs.

    July 23, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  25. Cielo

    The South lost once: it WILL lose again! But then, again, people, consider. What is he angry about? That ALL people should have access to health care, in this the wealthiest nation on the planet? Why is he so miserly and evil? How can you deny healthcare to the sick,the poor, the elderly and to children? Does he call himself a Christian? Aren't those the very people you should be serving and protecting? It's bad enough that Texas is a laughinstock nationwide; shoud Tennessee join it as well? I hope not.

    July 23, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
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