Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said Monday that secession was a “deeply American principle,” amid a growing number of people petitioning the White House to let their states secede from the U.S.

“Secession is a deeply American principle. This country was born through secession. Some felt it was treasonous to secede from England, but those ‘traitors’ became our country’s greatest patriots,” the former presidential candidate wrote in a post on his House website. “There is nothing treasonous or unpatriotic about wanting a federal government that is more responsive to the people it represents.”

He continued: “If the possibility of secession is completely off the table there is nothing to stop the federal government from continuing to encroach on our liberties and no recourse for those who are sick and tired of it.”

Since President Barack Obama was reelected earlier this month, a flurry of secession petitions from states were created — most notably from Texas, which with more than 115,000 signatures far exceeds the 25,000 signatures needed for an official White House response. Critics have said it’s disgruntled voters upset that former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney lost.

Read more: Politico