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Tennessee gubernatorial candidate floats secession; rival calls him crazy

July 24, 2010 | 10:49 am

07-24-cuckoo-clock
 

Another day, another "I didn’t mean that (even though I said it) comment."

Tennessee Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Zach Wamp was talking tough Friday when he told the National Journal’s Hotline that if upcoming elections don’t go the right way, states may have to consider secession.

Then when asked about it later in the day, he "clarified" what he meant.

"I hope that the American people will go to the ballot box in 2010 and 2012 so that states are not forced to consider separation from this government," he told the Hotline.

Later, Wamp told reporters that “no one wants even talk of secession,” although he was the one who first talked about it.

"The fact is, we have a conflict and we need to resolve the conflict, and we need strong tough governors to step up,” he said.

At least one Republican rival signaled that Wamp is a nutbag (or at least signaled that his comments are nutty).

State Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey said Wamp’s comments are an example of "trademark over-the-top temperament and overheated, sometimes crazy rhetoric." 

Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, another opponent, jumped in too.  

"I can assure you if I'm elected governor, we won't secede from the Union. Period," Haslam said. "You know, the country had that experiment 150 years ago. ... I think most Tennesseans are committed to making America better, not leaving it."

Meanwhile, entertaining talk-show host Alan Colmes offered an interesting option for Wamp -- maybe he should just secede.

“Congressman Zach Wamp contemplates secession -- I say let him go,” Colmes tweeted Saturday.

-- Jimmy Orr

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