Perry on Bachmann's vaccine gaffe: 'No basis in fact'
September 14th, 2011
05:33 PM ET
7 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. No Amnesty for Teabaggers - Impeach Republicans

    Michele alleged that taking HPV led to mental retardation. She said this without any empirical data, just repeating what a supporter told her. She is not presidential, and proves she is not even ready for prime time.

    September 14, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  2. porchhound

    Here is a FACT got MILLIONS from MERK with tons of money channeled through the Republican Governor's Association. You only owned up to Five thousand but that just shows how slippery you ARE!

    September 14, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. EatRunDive

    According to Sen Kyl, nothing Republicans say should be taken as fact.

    September 14, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  4. MTATL67

    This is the extremism of the Rep. Bachman and the extremist group the Tea party. They would rather see young American women dead than take a vaccine because of ideology. Rep. Bachman is the type of person that would have kept on driving instead of stopping to help pull Mr. Wright from under the burning car. She is the type of person that would let the elevators close on someone about to get on the elevator but I guess that is how extremist are

    September 14, 2011 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  5. Green Collar Worker

    Don't you love how willing these Republicans are to eat their own?

    September 14, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  6. No Amnesty for Teabaggers - Impeach Republicans

    Michele needs to submit to the Kochs, and just go home.

    September 14, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  7. Ricky Perry

    Well, well, well, The pot calling the kettle black? We have pro-life governor who is "fed up" with the federal governement meddling in everyone's life telling the parents of girls in the largest state of the union what to do? This is insane!!

    September 14, 2011 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  8. Debbie from Arizona

    I've found that most of Michele Bachmann's statements are not based on facts. Why should this be any different?

    September 14, 2011 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Wow it is like dumb and dumber...

    September 14, 2011 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Rep. Bachmann's remark was not intended to be factually accurate.

    September 14, 2011 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  11. Alfredo Fla.

    Well, I'm not a Perry supporter and given Michele Bachmann's history with bending facts, I'm going to side with Perry and add what he couldn't, she probably made it up.

    September 14, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. Dave

    I don't think Bachmann did anything wrong. The fact is that the woman is so flat-out dumb, she wouldn't know the difference between a scientific fact and a hole in the ground. Perry isn't far behind...

    September 14, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  13. Ben Napper

    I don't know why the media continues to make the issue about Michelle Bachmann's comments on vaccines. I think the issue worthy of reporting on is whether or not Perry issued an executive order in order to increase profits for Merck. Isn't a candidate running for President being corrupt more important than them being wrong about vaccines? At least the scientific community can correct Bachmann's comments, there's no fixing corruption I mean Perry basically acknowledged that he could be bought just not for 5,000 dollars and the 5,000 dollars is just what was publicized. She made a valid point about the fact that Merck made huge profits from his action and I think that should be what is being discussed rather than this side debate over vaccines.

    September 14, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  14. Ron

    LOL. If that ain't the pot calling the kettle black! "No basis in fact" sounds about right to just about everything these two ever say....and a couple of other folks as well.

    September 14, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  15. fernace

    If Perry cares about life & the health threats of women, how is it that womens health care took such an unprecedented hit in this years legislative sessions? Why is he so adimant about this vaccine, which doesn't prevent a life threatning social contagion like tuberculosis or polio, for example? HPV causes warts, which if left untreated, can cause cervical cancer & the primary function of the vaccine is to prevent HPV! A secondary benefit is that it can help to prevent a specific cancer! This is hardly an epidemic healthcrisis & the choice should be left up to the parents /young women whom it may affect! A government mandate is intrusive & unwarranted & I was under the impression that the GOP is against that type of encroachment by the government!Hmm!!

    September 14, 2011 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  16. Dave

    Funny thing about the new breed of politician like Bachmann and Palin, they don't particularly care whether there is any validity or accuracy to their statements. If they keep repeating it enough, there will always be those that will believe it as fact.

    September 14, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  17. Orchid333

    Thereby solidifying the fact that Bachmann is a certified nutjob. She's either a) too stupid to check her facts when someone tells her something before spewing it to the media (she does this often, more than in just this case) or b) she completely made it up to "try" and make herself look good on this issue. Either way, she's an idiot that has no place running this country.

    September 14, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  18. Shawn Irwin

    Perry claim on national television of only receiving $5000 from Merk had no basis for fact either. It was more like $29,000! Here is a guy who has gone as far as to describe himself and Bush as "philosophical soulmates". More like mutual idiots.

    In 2010, Texas ranked last in the percentage of adults with high school diplomas. . .

    September 14, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  19. cisco4

    They both should get vaccinated against the HPV....NOW Fraulein Bachmann advised everyone..who has NO health Insurance to get to the Emergency room to take care of their illnesses.. Oh really...WHO pays the bill?? ?Fraulein Bachmann..believes in FREE medical care?//She says you can do without medical care...she calls it pro family values care...I guess?

    September 14, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  20. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    The bigger point is that Perry put government into family lives via "Executive Order."

    September 14, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  21. JakeD

    How can we be CERTAIN that the vaccine does not cause mental retardation? There are at least some cases of anaphylactic shock following the admistration of the vaccine.

    September 14, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  22. Drogo, who bit the dust

    They are both pathetic opportunists.

    September 14, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  23. Bob

    There's the problem with the attitude that I hear many GOP voters have about these (mentally challenged) candidates- they also support them by saying "Well, maybe they don't get the facts right, but at least they have convictions." Like being wrong AND stupid AND not correcting either is somehow a trait to admire! Bush (if he didn't know ahead of time) should have said "I was wrong that tax cuts would stimulate the economy, we should stop ballooning our deficit" or how about "I was wrong about Saddam being linked to 9/11- let's not invade Iraq and instead send a navy SEAL team into Afghanistan to get Bin Laden instead of letting a corrupt foreign army try to corner him into surrendering". And the (minority of) voters who voted for him in the first election should have said "I shouldn't vote for a guy because I think it would be cool to be smarter than the President".

    September 14, 2011 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  24. x-rev

    Bachmanns comments were off the cuff, with no truth to them, and were ment to cause trouble. The troubling thing is in a couple of weeks, dim witted americans will believe what she said to be complete truth. Tell a lie enough times and people will believe it to be truth.

    September 14, 2011 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  25. ahetch

    Perry says that he can't be bought for $5k. He doesn't say that he can't be bought. hahaha

    September 15, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
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