Washington (CNN) - While she wasn't on stage at Monday night's debate, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin jumped in on the attacks against Texas Gov. Rick Perry for signing a state law that required inoculation against a sexually-transmitted disease for sixth-grade girls.
"You have to go up against the big guns," Palin said on FOX News Monday, praising GOP candidate Michele Bachmann for bringing up the issue at the debate. "And they will try to destroy you, when you call them out on the mistakes that they have made."
In 2007 Perry signed off on a law that mandated vaccines for HPV, a virus that can cause cervical cancer. While, parents had the option of opting out for religious reasons, the measure was still considered an unpopular law in the Lone Star State.
Bachmann confronted Perry at the "CNN Tea Party Republican Debate" in Tampa, saying the Texas governor's former chief of staff later went to work for a drug company that made the vaccine.
“There was a big drug company that made millions of dollars because of this mandate,” Bachmann said, adding that Perry received contributions from the company.
Perry countered saying he had received $5,000.
"I raised $30 million," Perry said. "If you think I can be bought for $5,000, then I'm offended," Perry said.
Firing back with a shot that spurred wide applause in the audience, Bachmann said: "Well, I'm offended for all the little girls and the parents that didn't have a choice."
After the debate, Palin called Perry's ties with the drug company "crony capitalism."
"True reform and fighting the corruption and fighting the crony capitalism is a tough thing to do within your own party," Palin said. "Believe me I know that. I have the bumps and bruises to prove it."
Palin, who paints herself as a "maverick," added that she's been fighting corruption for the last 20 years at the local and state level, in addition to her time campaigning as the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee.
But this wasn't the first time Palin went after Perry. Speaking on Labor Day weekend at a major tea party event in Iowa, Palin hinted at the Texas governor–though she didn't use his name–while speaking about government corruption.
“Some GOP candidates, they also raise mammoth amounts of cash,” she said. “We need ask them, too: What, if anything, do their donors expect from their investments? We need to know this because our country can’t afford more trillion-dollar thank you notes to campaign backers.”
Palin hasn't thrown her hat in the ring for president, despite making big appearances this summer at events in key battleground states. She said Monday night she's still discussing a potential White House bid with her family.
In the meantime, Palin said she's "getting a kick out of" staying in the spotlight and weighing in on the 2012 prospects.
"I'm getting a kick of getting out there, making a speech, making some statement about things that must be discussed and then the very next day watching some of the candidates get out there and discuss what it was we just talked about," Palin said.
–CNN's Peter Hamby and Steve Brusk contributed to this report.
Sarah Palin is a total air head. If anyone takes her serious as a potential leader you need your head torn off and examined.
She is so out of her mind. If you just listen to the voice you can hear she is insecure.
A complete phony! Save your time by deleting her from any further discussions.
I'm curious as to whether Palin is objecting to the Merck donation or the idea of vaccination to begin with. Considering, at the time, there was only 1 drug approved by the FDA for HPV vaccination, if any state or government wanted to require the vaccination, there was only 1 place to go to get the drug regardless of whether Merck made donations or not. Palin and Bachmann spout "crony capitalism", but, in this case, there was no cronyism as Merck's drug wasn't unfairly favored over some other company's HPV vaccination.
It's too bad Perry didn't sieze oil company profits, and redistribute that wealth to his state's citizens like Palin did in Alaska.
So the Tea Party is pro-HPV? Poor children that have these mental midget parents...Get your children vaccinated for HPV...You wouldn't skip Polio Shots ffs.
Coming from the contrarian in chief her critism has little meaning.
If Sarah Palin wanted to debate Rick Perry, then she should announce her candidacy and get in the race. Oh wait, then she'd have to give up her paycheck from Faux News.......nevermind! She'll wait until the last possible minute to declare she's running.
Interesting, the real Republicans (not the silly Tea party and social conservatives but the people who have actually governed a Republicans) don't like Perry. Now the Palin/Bachman caucus so going after him too. Really, we've had two dumb Presidents in a row, we can't let Perry add to the total.