Before he announced his presidential bid, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) was commendably honest about his radical view of the Constitution. Perry repeatedly and proudly called Social Security and Medicare unconstitutional — even doing so on video at least once. Now that Perry wants to be president, however, he has unleashed a blizzard of falsehoods, claiming untruthfully that he never said Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional.
Last night, in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Perry showed similar disregard for the truth in claiming that he never suggested Texas might secede from the union:
HANNITY: Some people said, well, you used the term once “secession.” That’s not anything—is that something you believe?
PERRY: No, and I never used that term, at all.
HANNITY: Then why was it reported so heavily?
PERRY: I have no idea to be real honest with you, because it was never a really factual piece of reporting. It was shouted out by an individual at an event—at a Tea Party, actually—and I said “listen, America is a great country. We have no reason why we would ever dissolve this union.”
Perry is technically correct that he never uttered the word “secession,” but he did say that “when we came into the nation in 1845, we were a republic, we were a stand-alone nation. And one of the deals was, we can leave anytime we want. So we’re kind of thinking about that again.” Just in case Perry doesn’t remember saying that he is “thinking about” seceding, he can listen to himself saying it here:
For the record, Perry isn’t just wrong about his own previously stated views on secession, he was also wrong the first time when he claimed Texas has the right to secede from the union. Just in case the Civil War didn’t resolve this question enough to suit Perry’s unusually fluid understanding of the Constitution, the Supreme Court resolved the question just a few years later in 1869. As the Court held in Texas v. White, “[t]he union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration, or revocation, except through revolution, or through consent of the States.”