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. Anonymous

    Please, both Texas and Tennessee are welcome to leave. The blue states heavily subsidize the red ones. This should end.

    July 23, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  2. Tennessean

    Sounds like ole Zach is back on the cocaine. Perhaps he means the United States of Colombia.

    July 23, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  3. Michael S

    I think Mr Wamp needs to open a history book and turn to the chapter entitled "The American Civil War"

    July 23, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  4. Not Republican

    If only it could be true.

    Zach says he may have to put secession on the table. Ah, he is quite bold isn't he. He'll lead the Tennessee militia against the USA and... win?

    Of course this rhetoric plays well to an audiance of morons, his constituency. A bunch of old has been racists who would love to polish their muskets and go to war, and the younger version of them, white supremist youth who aren't afraid to die (i.e. until they're actually wounded).

    I think it would be great if all the racists went to Texas and we let Texas secede. Then we could join the world community to make sure they don't get nukes. 'cause we know those hicks love to kill things without considering the consequences and moral implications.

    Good luck, Zach, you are a good rep for your party, but not for OUR country.

    July 23, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  5. azmary

    Since Tennessee gets more federal tax dollars back then it puts in, (about 1.25 per each dollar sent to the feds) I hope he tells the citizens of that state they will face some serious budget cuts, or tax increases, if they break away. Texas would come out ahead financially since they pay a little more in than they get back.

    July 23, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  6. stejo

    funny how in one breath someone can advocate secession and in the next talk about strictly adhering to the Constitution. sigh...

    July 23, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  7. Captain D

    Another moron running for state government.

    July 23, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  8. Linda Bumpus

    I can't believe Wamp is seriously putting his 2 cents worth (and that's all it's worth) in on such an outlandish wave of Ole South sentimentality. What an idiot. I'm a native Tennessean, and I don't think he has asked any of us how we feel about secession. Again, what an idot. We were on the wrong side of the argument before the Civil War, why in the hell would we go there again?

    July 23, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  9. Dante

    Let 'em secede. Let's see how they do when a large natural disaster hits or when they need money for roads and schools.

    July 23, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  10. Clark1b

    not sure I like the thought of secession .... but I have a question:
    I assume that secession means that the majority of the people in an area democratically vote to withdraw from the union.... and if that is true, what is the smallest amount of land that needs a majority vote , to withdraw? Could a state, county, city, neighborhood, apartment building, single family home qualify? Could ten of the counties in California withdraw ... even if the counties had no borders in common?

    July 23, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  11. T in Kzoo

    Regardless of his opinion of the President, this man is a constitutional traitor, and should be arrested and tried for treason, along with his good buddy Rick Perry.

    I'm not sure if Wamp realizes this, but the South tried secession before, and you know what? It didn't work out so great for them.

    It happened over a hundred years ago, but few people actually know about this. (/sarcasm)

    July 23, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  12. Babs

    Bye Bye, Texas. Write when you get work.

    July 23, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  13. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    First the Republicans operatives lie and defame a fellow American.

    Now some schmuck of a candidate, wants to secede from the Union!

    How UN-American can these Conservatives get? They offer NO solutions, NO NEW ideas, only the same old tired silly politics of:

    Hate, lies, fear and DIVISION!

    July 23, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  14. Djinn

    I am about tired out by the current political atmosphere that seems to have followed a landslide presidential victory for a black man. Losers of every repugnican sort seem to want to blame this president for everything he has done to try and recover this country from the Bush/Cheney scourge. Someone please tell me that somewhere there is a "loyal opposition" and it is not going to be dumbasses all the way down. Tell the Dixiecrat Repugnicans: If we lived through Bush you can live through Obama.....twice!!

    July 23, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  15. Gary Jaussaud

    Gary's comment is:
    Congressman Zach Wamp can feel anyway he wants to about the
    Great State of Tennessee going it alone as a non-member of the
    United States,however I think the good people of Tennessee may have another idea of what happens to their future. I think the whole idea is really silly.

    July 23, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  16. zip

    Fantastic idea .Take all the illegals that are in the country unlawfully and give them a large portion of your state to house,feed and give medical aid at the state's expense.Do it tomorrow .

    July 23, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  17. Jackson from Rome, GA

    I've been to Texas. Let them secede.

    July 23, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  18. TruthandBeauty

    I encourage him...take Texas with him...please.

    July 23, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  19. Jacqui

    I am so tired of all these threats and divisiveness. Could we have some real Americans running for office. People who genuinely care and want to see the country move on. Remember people, no house, no community, no state, no country divided against itself can stand. That's what the Bible, which many of these secessionists claim to believe says.

    July 23, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  20. Andrew

    Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

    July 23, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  21. gary

    I'd like to see him campaign on this platform. Just as the South tried break away from the union over the racist institution of slavery, this character decides it's a great time to break away during the administration of the first black president. Coincidence??? How blatant does it get?

    July 23, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  22. Sean in AK

    Give me a break. Did these clowns threaten secession when GW Bush pushed through the greatest abridges of our freedom ever? It's hard to take these ploys or any Tea Party talking points about deficits and national debt when they weren't doing this under the past administration. I'm not saying that Obama's plans aren't going to create some changes or bring on some financial costs, but it's hard to take these folks serious when they waited until there was an administration change as well as a party change to cause the stir. To coin a phrase and an accusation, "It's unpatriotic."

    July 23, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  23. RobertaD

    Tennessee threatens secession? It would be like my alcoholic, no job havin', good for nothin' husband threatening to divorce me. Be my guest.

    July 23, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  24. Andrew

    Hey, cool. There's a traitor on the GOP ballot in Tennessee.

    July 23, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  25. joel palmer

    This is treason; the penalty for treason is...

    July 23, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
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