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. Ken in Gainesville

    Prosecute this traitor. The penalty for treason is death. It's about time these malcontents face the consequence of their actions.

    July 23, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  2. JodyArtorius

    Wamp needs to move to Cuba or Russia, if he does not like it. Love It or Leave It!!!

    July 23, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  3. AQ

    When are these Southern States going to stop threatening and just do it??? I live in the North and will happily help them fill out any paperwork to get them out of this country!!

    July 23, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  4. Will Saam

    I think we could give Texas back to Mexico.

    July 23, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  5. Michael

    Blab Blab Blab–

    Another right-wing nut gets corporate media attention by spouting reactionary BS.

    This joker is free to leave the union any time he wants.

    His constituents should remove him from office because he makes them all look like major league idiots for supporting him.

    If its any consolation, most Americans with an IQ above room temperature have been watching the justice system in texas and haven't considered that state to be a part of the union for years.

    July 23, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  6. phil from ohio

    Let Tenn separate and the Feds will defeat them like the North defeated the Confederates.

    July 23, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  7. mike

    Let's hope he gets elected and then seceeds. Then when they have a setback, watch themm come cryint back to the federal government for help. How do they think they have been able to function without the support and money from the federal government. Let all these idiots get their way and see how long their states can last without federal funds. People in those states will see taxes go up and services down in order to manage without federal funds

    July 23, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  8. Lynn

    As a resident of an adjoining state of TX, we would be more than happy to hold the door for them when they succeed. There's a no more blustery obnoxious group of people than a Texan.

    July 23, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  9. Independent One

    These so called elected officials are the stupidest people.... l live in the south and they certainly dont speak for me.....I would NEVER want my country the USA broken into pieces....So Please Shut the #$^%&$ UP

    July 23, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  10. Gil

    Have all the nut case repuglicans lost their minds? No, they never had any in the first place. I continue to be underwhelmed at the stupidity of the repugblicans that want to win in November. Seriously, do they sound sane?

    July 23, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  11. R Applegate -Sarasota

    This guy is out of his mind...but that's the point isn't it. He wants to appeal to a slice of the voting public that is out of their minds collectively (mass hysteria much?) as well, the fringe right winger conservative step-child and its more moderate (by comparison only) daddy the GOP. While I'm sure there are some reasonably sane people on that side of center, this Senator is, with this crazy talk, appealing solely to the Repub. base and the Tea Party....and sure enough nothing works better on these all too impressionable souls, than empty rhetoric and scare tactics. What this country needs, is less me me me and more us us us. There is no "me" in USA, but there is an "US." And really, just stopping hating-by-default anyone who is different from you, whether is be race, religion, income, or other wise.

    July 23, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  12. Don Beal

    The Republic of Franklin. Well, Rep. Wamp, I guess your loyalty to the United States is a little weak. I'm sure quite a few of your fellow Tennesseans recognize the benefits they obtain by being part of the United States. I wonder how they would feel about being the North American equivalent of Lesotho.

    July 23, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  13. Robert J Wright

    Next thing you know, Wamp will go out and shoot a coyote like Perry.

    July 23, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  14. stlouis jake

    let the rightwingnuts attempt to rip apart the union. the rest of us will kick their a** – just like the last time they tried this crap.

    July 23, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  15. steve

    Treasonous swine.

    July 23, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  16. Bill

    So we're talking like 2,000 armed with .30-.30 lever actions against the modern U.S. Milutary,,,okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay........good luck with that one, dude.

    Didn't the southern states try that back in the 1800's? How'd that work out for 'em?

    July 23, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  17. Carol - Midwestern Independant

    Please leave, your state costs the rest of the US billions in Federal Tax dollars.

    You're a drain on the rest of the country.

    July 23, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  18. Zach

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

    July 23, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  19. The Atlantean

    Yes, let the Republicans secede from the US. Maybe they can go to Mexico and help them raise their economy.

    July 23, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |

    Go ahead and succeed. For a state that receives more federal money than it sends in that's a pretty dumb move. But go ahead, no highway funds, no gas funds, no education funding, no disaster relief when the floods and tornado come, support your own unemployed, pay for your welfare, support your own National Guard, shall we continue? I didn't think so. Just another typical GOP talking point to get your name in the news. But go right ahead. Idiots.

    Vote NO in NOvember to the party of NO.

    July 23, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  21. Karl in Charleston,SC

    We tried that, it didn't turn out so well.

    July 23, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  22. gkh

    I grew up in the area of the battle of Stone River near Nashville and my ancestors were burned out by Sherman's army in South Carolina. The damage done by that war lingered in both areas well into the mid 1960s

    I wonder how these right wing nuts think their next try will work out. Its much more likely they are all bluster and no muster.

    July 23, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  23. commonsensecaucus

    These conservatives are FASCISTS!

    July 23, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  24. Freedom1

    Let em' freekin fools!

    July 23, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  25. EWPitt

    Nothing annoys me more than idle threats. I wish blowhards like Perry and Wamp would test these comments further. I would love to see them try to debate how they would operate a state separated from this great country. No currency, no stock exchange, no banking, no trade, no more US citizenship, and no more NCAA college football...just to start. I know Texas thinks they have some great oil wealth, but they are naive if they think they will have free access to the Gulf or if they think those corporations will exist without American stock holders. I guess Texas can always become friends with Mexico, but Tennessee is land-locked. Brilliant. You gotta wonder how these people keep getting elected, but I take comfort in the fact that most citizens of those states are loyal Americans who fight the government by voting.

    July 23, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
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