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. m

    They are both frauds and self serving. WHO could possibly believe ANYTHING they say????

    September 15, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. mike

    both of these morons make Obama look like the best thing since sliced bread!

    September 15, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. Brian, Nj

    No validity in her comments, typical Michelle Bachmann

    September 15, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  4. Steve in Denver

    @Ben Napper: When the polio vaccine came out, did you also protest that pharma might profit? Rick Perry is one of the most obnoxious people on the national stage, but Texas, like many other states, implemented a life saving vaccine.

    September 15, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  5. Chano

    Since when is having no basis in fact an issue with an utterance of a member of the GOP? Misinformation, disinformation, inuendo and outright lies are the tools of the trade of the GOP and its political "strategists", to the point where it is past bizarre and now is only tuned out, except for the ideologically impaired.

    September 15, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  6. Crazy Harry

    Obviously Bachmann had the vaccine and is suffering badly

    September 15, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. rs

    This nearly insestuous infigting the GOP/TP to see who can be more publicly crazy than the next is entertaining if not flat-out scary.
    Look, Republicans. Here's my bottom line: Making the Tea Party- sort of your own personal Frankenstein monster might have been fun. But it is out there in the countryside doing two things. First, it is stirring up the rabble who somehow think the U.S. can live without taxes, jobs, education or Social Security- and that flat-out scares anyone with a room temperature or higher I.Q. They won't vote for you.
    Second, you have a really golden opportunity here. Grow-up; abmit the Tea Party was an unmitigated dead-end disaster and send in the adults again. The ones who will work for the benefit of all American citizens, and not just the corporations and the insanely rich. You might actually win elections, and do something good for American.
    Do neither and your party is DOA in 5 years. Right now, no matter how badly Obama does (or maybe more correctly how you lie about how he does), the truth is he is the only choice. As long as you troop out losers like the ever-insane Bachmann, or the idiot Perry, you're not getting my vote.
    You guys may not believe in evolution now, but you are sure looking like dinosaurs today.

    September 15, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. Texan

    Ole "Get the Government out of our business" Perry issued an EXECUTIVE ORDER that all girls 11+ yrs of age be vaccinated with a vaccine manufactured by Merck.-– It only cost Merck $28,500 in contributions to Perry to reap Millions from Texans. -– ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING !!!!!! --- And his chief "advisor" now works for Merck.-- surprise,surprise

    September 15, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    I doubt those supporting these candidates actually care whether what's being said is fact or fiction ... which says as much about those supporting the lies as it does the candidates who spread the lies. Bachmann, Perry, Romney all know they can get away with the lies, so the lies continue. Indeed, their PAC funding is directly linked to the lies being circulated. The bigger the lie, the more money given.

    September 15, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  10. Dana

    I posted this comment on the other HPV story and will post it here. People need to know the truth about what is happening to some girls after gardasil:

    My daughter's health completely deteriorated after receiving gardasil over 4 years ago. After having all other vaccines and not having a problem, and thinking she would be protected, she received the vaccine. I would not have believed it if I hadn't seen the devatating effects first hand. Make no mistake – gardasil is flat out poison for some girls. This vaccine has caused more devastating side effects than all the other 80 some vaccines combined. An absolute nightmare.

    September 15, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  11. hitobito

    The GOP has morphed into "dumb and dumber" and its a dangerous and sad state of affairs!

    September 15, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  12. Rosslaw

    This is breaking news? Something Bachmann said is not based on fact. How about a story that proves water runs downhill? And Rick "snakeoil" Perry is delighted to bash Bachmann on the lack of medical evidence as it diverts attention from his lyiing about the $29,500 Merch actually gave directly to Perry and the over $350,000 Merck gave to the Republican governors conference when Perry headed it up based on his having the best hair.

    September 15, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    Presenting anecdotes as fact, without any supporting data from a relatively unbiased source, is an indication of either being intelectually lazy, desperate, or both. Perry is retreating from the executive order he used because of heat generated by 2 non-entities, but he should never back off on a public health issue because of a lesser opponant's base is "threatened". If its a communicable disease, the government has an obligation to act: Bachmann, Santrum and others have no issue with having our lives monitored by the government for national security reasons: why would they object when communicable diseases that can be prevented by an innoculation program that people can opt out of for religious reasons? Apparently their egos as parents get in the way, and put others at risk. Pure selfishness.

    September 15, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. Miriam

    If it's not a required vaccine, it can't be covered by insurance. So you make it required, so everyone can get it. Even though it's required, people can STILL OPT OUT of ANY VACCINE.

    Personally, I'd like to not have cervical cancer and I don't want my kids to have it either. While it's too late for me to get the vaccine, it's not too late for many others.

    September 15, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  15. FM

    When there was worries of influenza, birdflu, everyone run for vaccination. What is the difference for the girls get vaccinated in order be free from cervical cancer. Am one of those not fond of mixing religion with politics. Michele Bachmann has failed to prove that she can lead without being biased!

    September 15, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  16. sunsohot

    Perry made big bucks off this vaccine and should be called out on it; Bachmann (surprisingly) did just fine when she pointed out the payoff but then stuck her foot right back in her mouth on the mental retardation statement....what an idiot.

    September 15, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. dave

    Please, let's leave the science to the Democrats. We have a much better grasp of what satisfies scientific rigor and what doesn't.

    September 15, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. sam

    It appears that none of them have any idea how dumb they sound.

    September 15, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  19. Larry L

    It's creepy when Rick Perry is the voice of reason. It is fun to see the Republicans use the "swift boat" technique on each otheer. They can rely on an electorate too stupid to investigate.

    I'm more interested in following the money contributed (directly and indirectly) to Perry's campaigns. Recently articles have emerged showing a long history of Perry's business association with his contributors. He's right – he can't be bought for $5000. It takes a lot more! "Praise the Lord and pass the money!".

    September 15, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  20. JOE

    Whats the difference, they're both loosers.

    September 15, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  21. Jim970

    Sad. We see it time and again. The Republicans get so fixated on tearing down each other during the early stages of the presidential campaign that they end up giving the election to the Democrats. Perry, Palin, and all the others need to rethink their strategy before they give the election away.

    September 15, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  22. snowdogg

    Both are dumber than bricks!

    September 15, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  23. Diane

    Bachmann, a certified blabbering idiot...Perry, a certified swidle politician who can be bought for a price above $5000.
    I'm definitely swithching my party affiliation in 2012.....these two are worse than a bad comedy team closing down a bad night club! Only joke left out of the equasion is Palin.....but the less we hear of her the better for all of us!

    September 15, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  24. Big Al

    It does not matter that Michelle Bachmann has told a lie. In sound bite America, that she had the scruples of a middle school gossip and was able to speak on camera the lie now has creedence.

    The news cycle runs to fast. At one time not only would an adult not have the consious to lie like this, but Perry would be able to ask her to produce the alleged victim.

    Perry can only now counter with a bigger lie about this awful, awful woman.

    September 15, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. seriously226

    I don't agree with the Executive order that Perry made in forcing young girls to get vaccinated – there are proper channels to go through, like the State House, to pass such laws. It wasn't a matter of life and death and there wasn't a crisis. But I also don't think Bachmann should be repeating something ONE supporter told her without validating those facts. She says things to get people riled up with no basis in fact or something to back up her statement. Sadly, lots of people take what she says as cold-hard truth, when a lot of it is just a can of worms. She is not Presidential material and really isn't Congressional material either – good work Minnesota.

    September 15, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
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