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Secessionist leader: Texas should separate from Marxist states

AUSTIN, TX - SEPTEMBER 19: A Texas flag before a game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez

The leader of a secessionist group in Texas said Tuesday that a petition on the White House website to separate the state from the nation is growing in popularity because the "union has fundamentally changed."

"The fact of the matter is, that there cannot be a union between those that esteem the principles of Karl Marx over the principles of Thomas Jefferson. Here in Texas, we esteem those principles of Thomas Jefferson -- that all political power's inherent in the people," Daniel Miller, president of the Texas Nationalist Movement, said Tuesday on Fox News. "What we have seen given on Tuesday was that a majority of the people in the United States, and the states in which they reside, esteem the principles of Karl Marx over those principles."

On the White House's "We the People" website, a petition asking the administration to "Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government" so far has more than 95,000 signatures (not all of them from Texans). The White House says it will respond to all petitions that within 30 days receive more than 25,000 signatures.

At least 47 states are represented by similar petitions, while others have started petitions in response to the secessionist requests. For instance, there's a petition to "Keep the United States United," as well as a petition to "Peacefully grant the city of Austin Texas to withdraw from the state of Texas & remain part of the United States."

Miller told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he doesn't expect the petition to do much more than "send a clear message." He does, however, want state lawmakers to take up the issue.

"Ideally what we would like to see is the legislature put it to a non-binding referendum," he said. "So the people of Texas could express their will on this issue. The polling we have done internally in our organization in every county in Texas shows we would carry a majority of Texas, but I think that takes us to the next step here."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry's office has said the governor doesn't support calls to secede, although he "shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government."

Republican Rep. Ron Paul, meanwhile, still believes that "it's very American to talk about secession," given that the U.S. began with 13 colonies seceding from the British.