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)

    I agree with Bachmann,.. who herself was given the vaccine at a young age.

    September 15, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. emma

    Each of the GOP Presidential candidates has his/her own way of lying. Perry lied about the Federal Government stimulus not creating any jobs, to name one of his lies. Michelle has distorted the truth over and over again. They call it "spin" but their spin
    obscures facts. Some Americans will believe them....

    September 15, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. Gary

    If it is all about life to you Rick why do you set back while hundreds are executed on your watch as governor? Never can seem to reconcile the rational of people that claim to be "pro life" and pro death penalty. Oh its all about the votes who they can sucker! I did like the comment by Perry in the debate when he responded in reference to how much he had received in campaign contributions from the drug company involved in the vaccine deal. "If you're saying I can be bought for $5,000, I'm offended." apparently there is a number he can be bought for just don't insult him with a low dollar amount.

    September 15, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. Blaine

    Bachmann is an extreme embarrassment to the wonderful state and people of Minnesota. Elect Garrison Keillor instead and he'll give out free powdermilk biscuits to everyone in the US for four years.

    September 15, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. Peggy - TX

    Scary through that either of these two yahoos having any chance at all of winning a Presidential election. We really do not know what they will do as President as any politcan that stand up in front of a crowd and with no reservation at all tells the crown in so many words that they are on Gods side will say and do anything that will get them elected. Once elected, the real, hidden agenda will show itself. The only way to know for sure what that agenda is is too look at who is controlling each of these two proven to be a puppet yahoos. The survival of the Amerian Middle class is at stake. These two would serve, not God but the religion of Capitalism, where monoploies rule and then eventually fail bringing down the whole economy, where the haves get more and the have-not have no chance of advancing, and where eventually the few big dogs that are left after eating all the little dogs rule America like kings.

    September 15, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  6. nianmo

    she is another sarah palin

    September 15, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. Awww

    Bachmann will now say taking a vaccine is unconstitutional, since she has never read the consititution she will make ridiculous claims about whats in the constitution. But Bachmann should have attacked Perry on accepting money from lobbyists rtaher than make stupid remarks on a vaccine just like her beliefs on global warming & evolution.

    September 15, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. Mike, Albany

    Bachmann stands ready to ignore scientific fact on anything and everything. At the same time, Perry claims he's against intrusion of big government in the lives of individuals, which is inconsistent with a mandate for a vaccine. But I guess exceptions can be made when it thickly lines his and his cronies' pockets.

    September 15, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  9. Awww

    This slimeball Perry has taken millions from various drug companies. Now we know why the GOP opposes the Obama Universal healthcare plan, their bribes will go down dramatically.

    September 15, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  10. Awww

    This slimeball Perry has taken millions from various drug companies. Now we know why the GOP opposes the Obama Universal healthcare plan,

    September 15, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  11. Peggy - TX

    Bachman, no one cares if you are right or not, becasue all Perry has to do is look sorrowfull with that cute little puppy dog face and all is forgiven. He is the ultimate good-o- boy and you are not ... end of story. Sorry about that, now go back and be a good girl and continue to sheparding stupid females to vote GOP and keeping the Tea Partiers on message.

    September 15, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  12. Bill

    When anything is being discussed between Bachman and Perry no one should expect too many facts or truths.

    September 15, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  13. jdvaus

    I find it interesting that Rick Perry points to facts - "science" if you will, to defend his stance on the vaccine, when he
    ignores the facts and science on climate change.

    September 15, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  14. Steve

    So I guess the only time Rick Perry likes to use facts is when they are supportive of his donors. Maybe scientists that study global warming should contribute to Perry's campaign so that he will start realizing those facts as well.

    Rick, just something to think about. You can choose to use facts or ignore them, but you look like an idiotic corporate puppet when you do both.

    September 15, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. Indy

    Bachmann is a "Gaffe" in history

    September 15, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. Joe

    He hates cancer, but he also loves money, about $400,000 worth given by Merck to the Republican Governors' association when he was chairman. And his former crony was a lobbyist for Merck working to get that vaccine mandated by state governments. Bachman might be a lunatic playing fast and loose with the facts, but Perry is a cynical opportunist and a liar.

    September 15, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    So, why should Michelle care when Perry did not care while saying "The stimulus bill created zero job"? I though the understanding was that they all would embellish and twist facts to get to the top. Lets all stick with the plan.

    September 15, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. Mike

    It's dumb and dumber. Guess which one is dumber?

    September 15, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. Brett

    @Ben Naper – No, the vaccine issue is very important. The U.S. mandates vaccines for young children right after birth and parents have the option to decline. Attacking vaccines as an invasion of liberty and privacy is a VERY serious issue, especially since the false link to autism. We need a certain percentage of the population to be vaccinated in order to have adequate protection.

    None of the unscientific minds in the tea party listen to medical authorities or the academics defending vaccines. We have been doing PR for years on the importance of vaccines for preventing preventable diseases. Her statements make our work even harder to accomplish.

    September 15, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. Annie, Atlanta

    I take issue with both of them actually. Perry, of the small government ilk, forcing this vacine on girls, and Bachmann for complete and utter ignorance. How many girls in the future will be scared away from this vacine now, and wind up with cervical cancer? The medical community has to be reeling from this typing of ignorance. But then again, Republicans have worked very hard to make ignorance appealing. Smart is now demonized. God help us.

    September 15, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  21. Dee

    Rick Perry doesn't believe in science so why doesn't he pray away possible cancer like he did the wild fires? Maybe for his next career he can be one of those evangelical preachers he can sure make alot of money in that field.

    September 15, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. David

    @Ricky Perry – to quote you:

    "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!!"

    Alaska is the largest state in the union.

    September 15, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  23. Mark

    one thing that is forgotten is that this cancer is most common in multiple (more than 2) sex partners
    by forcing women to take this drug (usually around 10-14) you are saying that they are going to be a slut when they grow up

    September 15, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  24. Joshua Ludd

    Is it just me... or has Bachmann had a huge dose of HPV vaccine? This woman believes pretty much anything you tell her or that she reads on the internet.

    September 15, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  25. Melissa

    I agree with this statement posted earlier, “This is hardly an epidemic health crisis & 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" I have looked up the side effects of guardasil and was immediately against this vaccine for my daughter! Lives have been lost and ruined due to this vaccine; I will not be a mother that wished she would have done research before allowing this vaccine be given. it may only represent a small percentage of the population who received it, but those stories are absolutely horrible!
    I agree that those who make statements should choose wisely before repeating them...but Bachmann never said it was a fact!

    September 15, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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