Kinky says Perry has gone 'off the tracks'

Kinky Friedman, the colorful Texas humorist and songwriter who recently announced he will challenge Gov. Rick Perry again next year, says the governor's recent secession talk shows he has "gone off the tracks a little bit."

Perry, a Republican, caused a stir on Wednesday when he appeared to suggest that Texas could secede from the union.

"You know, we tried that once," Friedman, a cigar wielding Democrat, told the BBR in an interview. "I would remind him that there was great visionary hero named Sam Houston who traveled all over the state warning us not to do it - that it would cost great heartache and bloodshed."

"I think Perry has gone off the tracks a little bit and maybe he needs a shopping trip to Europe," Friedman added.

Friedman announced on Tuesday that he plans to run for governor again in an letter to his supporters. Friedman ran against Perry in 2006 as an independent and earned 12 percent of the vote.

This time around, Friedman is running as a Democrat, and appears to be wary of his campaign being labeled a joke, as it was by some in 2006. Friedman, who is an accomplished columnist and the lead singer of the satirical band "Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys," said repeatedly that he is serious about this campaign and that he is "playing by the rules."

Friedman said Perry's remarks were politically motivated because he is facing a difficult GOP primary challenge from Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. "It's clearly political posturing," he said. "This is not a primary, it's a civil war."

And though Friedman is serious about his campaign, he can't help but deliver a zinger. Speaking of the GOP primary, he said: "It's a battle of the cheerleaders: Kay Bailey was a cheerleader at the University of Texas and Rick Perry was a yell leader at [Texas] A & M. They were both cheerleaders and probably hall monitors before that."

Friedman also said he is counting on the Republicans to beat each other up in the primary. The result will be a divided Republican Party, he said, which will clear the way for the Democratic nominee.

In an appearance at a Tea Party protest on Wednesday, Perry left the door open, albeit only slightly, to Texas seceding.

"We've got a great union," he said, according to the Associated Press. "There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot."

Contrary to some popular opinion, Texas cannot technically secede from the union. The Texas Constitution states clearly that the Lone Star state is "subject only to the Constitution of the United States." There is no other language in the state Constitution suggesting it can secede.

See Also: Poll: Three quarters of Texans don't want to secede

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com