Perry on Bachmann's vaccine gaffe: 'No basis in fact'
September 14th, 2011
05:33 PM ET
3 years ago

Perry on Bachmann's vaccine gaffe: 'No basis in fact'

Richmond, Virginia (CNN) – Texas Governor Rick Perry took issue Wednesday with Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's recent comments linking the HPV vaccine to mental retardation.

The issue flared up at Monday's "CNN-Republican Tea Party Debate" when Bachmann slammed Perry's decision in 2007 to require vaccinations for Texas school girls against the sexually transmitted HPV virus which may cause cervical cancer.

Then on Tuesday, Bachmann told NBC News she had heard from a woman who said her daughter "took that vaccine, that injection, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter."

Health experts immediately rejected the claim the vaccine causes mental health problems.

After a speech in Richmond, Virginia Wednesday, Perry told reporters Bachmann's comments had "no basis in fact."

"I think that was a statement that has no truth and no basis in fact and I hate cancer and that is what this has always been about for me," Perry said.

The Texas Governor went on to talk about how his parents both survived bouts with cancer. He said his meeting with a young woman who died from cervical cancer had an influenced his decision.

"I sat by the bed of a young lady as she was dying from cervical cancer. It had an impact on me. I care about life," Perry said.

The Bachmann campaign stood by its criticism of Perry in a statement to CNN.

"Governor Perry abused his power of the executive order to in imposing mandatory vaccines on 12 year old girls and engaged in crony capitalism with donors in sealing the deal – that's the truth," Bachmann campaign spokeswoman Alice Stewart said in a statement.

The statement did not address the validity of Bachmann's comments on the vaccine's safety.

The American Association of Pediatrics has sharply criticized Bachmann's comments in a statement.

"There is absolutely no scientific validity to this statement," the association said.


Filed under: Michele Bachmann • Rick Perry
soundoff (166 Responses)
  1. Gunslinger

    To FM, if you truly believe this – "You should also remember government leaders are elected by people. Whatever they do, they do on behalf of those who elected them." – then you are severely misguided. The fact of the matter is that the American Democracy is now falling and is it because of politicans being bought and paid for by lobbyists. At least Bachmann stand up for what she believes in. Oh, and I don't cave in to the masses...you're just a lemming that probably does whatever you're told....wimps like you make me sick.

    September 15, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  2. Ripped Off

    They would both be FATAL for the COUNTRY if EITHER gets elected, Obama is the Only choice in 2012...like it or not..

    September 15, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. GBlack`

    Hate cancer or not, you can't say the government should stay out of peoples business, but then change your mind when it suits you.

    Too many Republican are Republican in name only.

    September 15, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. David c.

    It's true. Mental retardation is not a side effect of the HPV vaccine. However, DEATH is a side effect!

    September 15, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. allens

    perry the good christian is a liar. when he mentioned the 5k he said nothing about individual and corp donations to his pac and various other channels. i thought lying is unchristian. what a bunch of republicans

    September 15, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. Tommy DuBose

    I could never vote for Bachman! She's almost like the ladies on "Desperate Housewives"....Desperate. Will say anything and do anything to get elected! She's lost my vote....I'm switching to Rick Perry!

    September 15, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  7. Ferret out the B.S.

    HaHaHa, keep at it children, this is more fun than watching a barrel full of idiot monkeys.

    September 15, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  8. JOE

    Yea, he should lash his tongue beetween her bootleg. Betcha she don't complain a flake bit.

    September 15, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. Kareen

    Since when does Perry care about life?
    He told us just a week ago that he doesn't lose any sleep when a INNOCENT man is executed.

    September 15, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. Maximus

    As a democrat It is astonishing that republicans have Rick Perry as front-runner, especially over Mitt Romney. We all know that Michelle Bachmann is not going anywhere, but Rick Perry could actually win the nomination. I think that with all his past mistakes and everything, Mitt Romney is the best option republicans have. And if we end up having republican president, I hope it's Romney.

    September 15, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. Omin

    Bachmann doesn't have a snowballs chance in Mexico of being President. The fact that she thinks so just proves that she really is crazy.

    September 15, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. Liz Carter in Georgia

    OMG Joe, I've got to say for once I can agree with you! I'm a victim of HPV myself; had surgery 2 years ago to remove part of my uterus/cervix just in time. It was almost turning into the first stages of cancer. THANK GOD! I'm admitting this hoping to show you that I'm pretty knowledgeable of the disease. Perry and Bachman are in fact using this condition as an ATM machine for their campaigns. They don't know one thing nor care about HPV! Both of them are liars! They're cynically pandering, USING the LORD!

    September 15, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  13. Patty60

    Gardisal did kill a number of women who were vaccinated in Europe. But the EU decided that the greater good of vaccinating young girls was worth a few deaths. Gardisal was primarily tested for genital warts. Unfortunately European politicians are just as crooked, and on the take, as American politians. Parents should not never allow any person, whether politician or doctor to tell them how to care for their children.

    September 15, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. einstein

    So now the Republican candidates care about science?

    September 15, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  15. left wing, right wing, american

    Facts are only what you make them don't speak of hpv, or vaccines unless you do the research. Everbody keeps talking about global warming like they know what they speak of because they saw a special on nat geo, global warming is a natuarl occurance that, caused by natural and human (car, factories etc) co2 release into the atmosphere, but the truth is that our societies release far more than ever before as 3rd world countries industrialize ie. India. The world as a whole needs to do what we can to reduce the amount of co2 released, and quit killing the rain forest as if there was enough foliage around the world it could convert the co2 into oxygen, how about only allowing the sale of products derived from trees in the US from tree farms, and put a bigger emphasis on recycled products. Without forgetting that this is in part a natural fluctuation reduce(co2 emissions), reuse and recycle

    September 15, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Snooki Palin is circling Bachmann's dead campaign like a vulture.

    September 15, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
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