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. David, CA

    They're both liars- Bachmann out of ignorance and out right stupidity (some lady told me so!!!) and Perry due to his slime-ball personality. I wouldn't trust either one of them.

    September 15, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. roscoe

    It is funny to see the people who hate science trying to debate this issue. Bachmann, who thinks the world is 6000 years old and man lived with dinosaurs, is in way over her head. And, Rick "Pray of Rain" Perry lucked into doing the right thing when he was lining his own pockets trading this executive order for campaign donations. When you consider these candidates, ask yourself whether you'd trust them to take out your garbage. Since they fail that test, try to find someone else.

    September 15, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  3. George

    Michele Bachmann is not finished with Mr. Perry., no, not by any means. She has her investigators working on him and when all the darkness is brought to light he won't be able to run for dog catcher. Don't be surprised to see people disappearing.

    September 15, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. Left Winger

    Wow, so the vaccine causes mental retardation? Then she must have overdosed

    September 15, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  5. Buster Bloodvessel

    So Bachmann is pro-cancer now? Amazing! She actually is crazy . . . I thought it was hype.

    September 15, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. roscoe

    If you think someone really told Bachmann this tale about her daughter becoming mentally retarded after the HPV vaccination, you're as dim as she is. She read on the "internets" that vaccines cause mental retardation and tried to use her new found facts in this debate. I think she gets most of her talking points from the phony emails that everyone else laughs at and then deletes. Wonder what she'll do when she gets the one about Marcus being gay?

    September 15, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  7. Joe

    It's funny that Rick Perry calls other people out for not using facts. He should read over a few "fact checks" from the GAP debates and see how many facts he uses.

    September 15, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  8. Gunslinger

    Perry FORCED a vaccine on the people of Texas (for the benefit of himself, his staffer and Merck). I tell you what... he ever forces something like this on my family......look out.....I don't do anything just because the gov't tells me to. Bachmann is 100% right on this issue.

    September 15, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. GOP Hate America

    you care so much about life perry. The big BS!! you and your kind as always will start a war the minute you have the power too.

    September 15, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. skyjmpr

    @seriously226 has it right. While you may disagree with Perry's Executive order as a gross over-reach of his authority, the 'the shot caused mental retardation' charge spouted by Bachmann is just one more example of how some (ok, MOST) of the Republicans seemed to want to expurgate nonsense, and rely on doing it long and loud enough for their 'herd of sheep' followers to pick up on the bleat. Shame on you Ms. Bachmann. There are plenty of legitimate, verifiable and factual chinks in the Perry armor that are fact. You're just too lazy to actually figure them out; a quality that has no place in the White House.

    September 15, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. wjmknight

    "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."

    So nice to know that Michelle Bachman still talks to her mother!

    September 15, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. Daniel R

    Really sad that John Huntsman, the only intelligent and reasonable Republican vying to become the party's presidential candidate, is not supported by the Tea Party because he dares to agree with scientists by saying that global warming is real that that he believes in evolution. Apparently the backwards-thinking Tea Party believes that only ignoramuses such as Bachmann, Palin, etc., who would take us back to the stone age should be considered for leadership of the greatest and most powerful country on earth.

    September 15, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. Perry Winkle

    Its absolutely magnificent to watch Michelle Bachmann bash Rick Perry for helping save women's lives. I'm no Perry fan, but Bachmann is an embarrassent to civilized society and humanity everywhere.

    Its great to see her very existence serve as a degradation to republicans, Minnesotans, and women everywhere, many of which continue to support her disgusting, ignorant and hypocritical nonsense.

    September 15, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  14. asm_ith

    The fact that there is "absolutely no scientific validity" is irrelevant. Neither science nor facts are of any concern to any of the Republicans.

    September 15, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  15. Thing55

    This is so typical of Republicans – playing fast and loose with facts and reality and always appealing to the lowest common denominator, as in Rick Ponzi's "I hate cancer" comments. Why does he have to "hate" cancer? Can't he just want to minimize loss of life from cancer?

    September 15, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  16. JohnReedjr

    It is ridiculous that Perry says he cares about life. Tell that to the uninsured, or the wrongfully executed. This guy is a convenience christian.

    September 15, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  17. Dyna-Mo Chen

    Woman idiocy knows no bounds, but the problem is she spews the paranoia fantasies that her followers believe and they don't care about facts at all.

    What if people had a choice about the polio or small pox vaccines? 'Oh, I don't want that... I'll just be a carrier...'

    Whether or not Merck had a hand in this, it was still a chance to prevent a killer disease from developing in young women. The other issues tied to this are just fear-mongering and ignorance.

    September 15, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. Shawn

    I wonder since the debate about HPV and the "Mandatory" vaccinations, and how that created a profit for MERK, and that is a problem for MB, but how does she feel about the government telling everyone that they have ot have vehicle insurance, and the profit the insurance companies make every year off of that deal, and how much money gets funneled into the campaign. I am just saying if you dont like governemtn in your life thats fine, but you dont get to pick and chose based off how much someone gives to your election, Makes you no better than the people your complaining about. Oh Yeah, just dont complain, tell me what your plan is, details, and how your going to get it passed, paid for, and how it affects each econmic group in this country.

    September 15, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. Ernie

    Rick Perry can say all he wants, but he's the one who signed an "Executive Order" to force all 12 yr olds to be vaccinated for "Cervical Cancer" No one has the right to make someone do what they don't want to do. Once I heard this at the debate that right there told me that Rick Perry is not qualified to be President. Could you imagine Rick Perry as President and making people do what they don't want to do. Look what Obama did with "Health Care" When Michelle Bachman fired back a Rick Perry he didn't like it. Afer seeing the look on Rich Perry's face this told me that I can't vote for Rick Perry.

    September 15, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  20. jay

    Whatever the issue – weapons of mass destruction, global warming, Creationism, etc. – republicans consistently demonstrate a total disregard for the facts. Why should Bachmann be any different.

    September 15, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  21. dean

    She will say anything. It's here say of course, but that doesn't stop her from purporting it as fact. Her campaign spokeswomen, who I'm sure is paid very well not to be an idiot, got it right though. People who follow Texas politics know very well that Perry is King of the good ol' boys . If the rest of the U.S. doesn't understand this by next year, we'll be in bigger trouble than we're in now.

    September 15, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  22. What's the world coming to

    How is it that Rick Perry is in the lead and expected to be the nominee? Didn't everyone have enough of Texas crazy with Bush II?

    September 15, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  23. SC

    "There is absolutely no scientific validity to this statement" ~ AAP
    Really? Since when have religious nutjobs started being reliable sources of unbiased scientific information?

    September 15, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. FM

    To: Gunslinger
    "Bachmann is 100% right on this issue".
    I beg to disagree with you. She is quite wrong. No one accuse another person without any proof or anything to support the allegation. She was talking for the sake of talking without any proof. You should also remember government leaders are elected by people. Whatever they do, they do on behalf of those who elected them.

    September 15, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  25. What's the world coming to

    How is it that Rick Perry is in the lead and expected to be the nominee? Didn't everyone have enough of Texas crazy with the last governor from texas?

    September 15, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
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