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Rick Perry Secession Remarks Echo Convicted Separatist Leader: Olbermann Guest (VIDEO)

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 05/17/09 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 02:15 PM ET

At a Texas Tea Party Thursday, Gov. Rick Perry raised eyebrows by suggesting his state could secede from the union. On Countdown with Keith Olbermann that night, Texas political writer and Huffington Post blogger James Moore pointed out that Perry isn't the first Texan to suggest secession. He compared the Republican governor to Richard L. McLaren, a separatist leader who in 1997 took his followers into the mountains, engaged in a week-long standoff that left people dead, and now is in jail for life.

It's bad for Texas' reputation to have this "clowny hirsute governor of ours doing these silly things and doing these foolish things that are a bit of an embarrassment to all of us down here," Moore told Olbermann. Comparing Perry to McLaren, he said the governor's remarks had "transcended irresponsibility" in echoing that violent uprising. "We're seeing our governor saying the same thing, its fomenting a kind of ... civil unrest, it's just utterly irresponsible for a governor to say this kind of thing."

Asked if Perry's sudden interest in starting a new country might have something to do with his upcoming reelection battle against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Moore said, "I don't think there's anything doubt that that's got a lot to do with it." Perry is looking for "some grassroots thing to argue and energize people ... the subtext of this is the current administration" in Washington and who can stand up to it. But, Moore concluded, "a lot of people think he's gonna be tossed out on his ear."

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