During an interview on Fox News on Wednesday night, Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry was asked about the issue of secession.
In 2009, the Texas governor declined to rule out the possibility the Lone Star State could secede from the union. The Fort-Worth Star Telegram reported on what Perry had to say at the time at a Tea Party rally:
He said the federal government has gone somewhat astray from what our founders wanted and he believes the federal government is choking Americans with excessive spending and taxation.
And although Perry made it clear he doesn't see the need to secede and isn't advocating for that, he said there's no question that's on the mind of some Texans. That was obvious at Tea Parties around the state, where "Secede" was a popular slogan on signs.
"We've got a great union," said Perry at the event, according to CNN. "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. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot."
On Wednesday night, Perry said he "never used" the term "secession" in discussing the matter and added that he has "no idea" why any report would suggest otherwise.
During the interview, the Texas governor also sought to clarify his position on Social Security. The presidential contender has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks after repeatedly using harsh language to define where he stands on the issue. From characterizing the program as a "Ponzi scheme" to a "monstrous lie," Perry hasn't held back in communicating his stance.
“That’s the old tactic that the Democrats used back through the years to try to scare the senior citizens," he said one night before Thursday's GOP primary debate in Florida. “If anyone on that stage that’s a Republican and wants to be a Republican nominee is trying to scare our seniors with this issue, that somehow or another I’m going to do away with Social Security, that’s just not appropriate. It’s irresponsible.”
Below, a clip of what Perry had to say on Fox News.