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On Daily Show, Texas Gov. Rick Perry denies he wants Texas to secede from the union

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010 12:21 EDT
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Attacks progressivism, Supreme Court

Appearing on the The Daily Show Monday to promote his new book, Texas Governor Rick Perry, a potential contender for the Republican nomination in 2012, denied being a secessionist and attacked the progressive movement of the 1920′s.

Although the governor has not explicitly supported the secession of Texas, his strong stance on the state sovereignty and comments he has made have caused some to wonder.

“Would you like to see, at some level, Texas as its own country?” asked Jon Stewart, the host of the show. “A little bit? A little bit? United Republic of Texas?”

“No,” answered Perry.

For much of the interview, Perry attacked the size and power of the federal government.

“If you want to know when Washington really got off the track — the 16th amendment, giving them the opportunity to take your money with a personal income tax,” said Perry.

“But let me just back that up a second, because there are… very few people, I think, who would go back to a pre-1920s United States, because that movement didn’t arise out of nothing,” countered Stewart. “Children worked in factories. Women weren’t allowed to vote.”

“I get that,” responded Perry.

“You may get it, but that ain’t nothing.”

“But the fact is, then you had the Great Depression, and again — government program after government program — that, looking back on it now, didn’t work,” said Perry. “Big government really has really not helped this country from the standpoint of the economy.”

In his forthcoming book, Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington, Perry is highly critical of federal government policies. Though not on sale until November 15th, excerpts were recently leaked to reporters.

In the book, Perry criticizes government programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and unemployment insurance, but seems to exempt America’s largest expenditures on defense, national security and foreign military aid.

Instead, the Perry attacks social welfare programs as “fraudulent systems designed to take in a lot of money at the front and pay out none in the end.”

“This unsustainable fiscal insanity is the true legacy of Social Security and the New Deal,” he wrote.

The book is also critical of the the 17th Amendment, which established the election of senators by popular vote instead of by state legislatures.

On the show, Perry and Stewart also discussed the role of the Supreme Court of the United States.

“If you delegitimize the Supreme Court just because it makes decisions you don’t like, you’re delegitimizing the Constitution,” stated Stewart.

“What’s not what we’re doing,” said Perry. “However, I do criticize the Supreme Court in here. I think we’ve got four Supreme Court Justices who are–”

“That you don’t agree with,” Stewart interrupted.

“That I don’t agree with,” Perry started to say, before catching himself. “No!”

“We’ve got four that I think don’t adhere to the Constitution,” Perry said.

“So you believe the Constitution is that which the federal government can do that you agree with?” responded Stewart. “In some respects? A little bit?”

“A little bit,” Perry quietly agreed.

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