Now that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is leading the Republican presidential race, he's distancing himself from previous comments about secession, or at least from how they were widely interpreted.
"No, and I never used that term at all," he told Sean Hannity in a Fox News interview on Wednesday night, when the host asked him whether he wanted Texas to secede from the U.S.
Critics have harped on Perry for the secession-related comments ever since he made them at an April 15, 2009 tea party rally in Austin, Texas. Even if some of those critics have exaggerated by calling Perry an outright secessionist, the governor seemed open to Texas leaving the Union depending on Washington's policy trajectory.
But Perry is right: He didn't say "secede."
Well I think there's a lot of different scenarios. Texas is a unique place. When we came in the union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that. My hope is that America and Washington in particular pays attention. 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, who knows what may come out of that? But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot.