Texas Gov. Rick Perry does not stand behind a secession petition filed with the White House by a Lone Star State resident in the aftermath of the presidential election.
The Dallas Morning News reports that the Republican governor's press secretary, Catherine Frazier, said in an email that Perry "believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it." She added, "But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government. Now more than ever our country needs strong leadership from states like Texas, that are making tough decisions to live within their means, keep taxes low and provide opportunities to job creators so their citizens can provide for their families and prosper."
Several years ago, however, Perry declined to rule out the possibility that Texas could secede from the United States if significant changes weren't made to the nation's economic policies.
"There's a lot of different scenarios," he said at a Tea Party rally in 2009, CNN reported at the time. "We've got a great union. 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."
The Texas governor raised eyebrows when he said, "When we came into the nation in 1845, we were a republic, we were a stand-alone nation," adding, "And one of the deals was, we can leave anytime we want. So we’re kind of thinking about that again."
Last year, Perry sought to clarify his position on the issue during an interview on Fox News. He pointed out that he "never used" the term "secession" in discussing the matter and said that he had "no idea" why anyone would suggest otherwise.
Residents in more than 25 states have filed secession petitions -- like the one from Micah H. (no last name provided) of Arlington, Texas -- in recent days. Petitions require at least 25,000 signatures in a 30 day period to qualify for review. The White House website explains: "If a petition meets the signature threshold, it will be reviewed by the Administration and we will issue a response."
The petition filed by Micah H. had received more than 50,000 signatures as of late Monday night. It reads:
The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government's neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending. The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc. Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it's citizens' standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.