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. yinyang

    I had a friend who went to see Bachman speak and she became mentally retarded afterwards.

    September 15, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  2. blf83

    Unless Ms. Bachman is blaming the vaccine for her own stupidity, her comment has no merit. On the other hand, Perry DID take plenty of money from Merck.

    September 15, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  3. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    LOL. Perry and Bachmann are vying to be the Tea party darling. I say go for it and thereby, alienating Independent and moderate voters in the general election.

    September 15, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. Tekk

    Why the hell are these two nitwits talking about something that affects 30k people compared to something that is affecting 9 million?
    I am not trying to say that HPV is not serious, it is, but there are bigger problems right now! We need to put America back to work, yet I have seen nothing from the candidates or the current administration that will help solve the problem.
    American Jobs Act is a joke and a political stunt, nothing else.

    September 15, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  5. JJ

    Senator Kyl's "Not intended to be a factual statement" is the proud new slogan of the GOP.

    September 15, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  6. JustObvious

    Michele's teenage daughter makes a poor choice (Bristol Palin being the poster child). Her punishment should include catching a mostly preventable disease. Mother-of-the-Year award.

    September 15, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. LUCIFER ADVERSARY

    LI WAYNE and the hiphop culture which glorified black on black violence was summon against black america by many of the white feminist and those whites who have a long history of embracing white supremacy including those at cnn and msnbc and it was this act as well as the widespread use of racial profiling is what has contrbute to the black holocaust is which much of the black human population were wipeout in this nation and a new demonic black america has arisen from both the antebellum and hiphop nation to replace them.This new demonic black america is based on sterotypical images of low class and poverty stricken as well as criminally prone blacks.

    September 15, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. mike

    No basis in fact. He says the same thing about global warming. The three months of triple digit heat and not a drop of rain is only a coincide.

    September 15, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Jamie from Riverside

    They're both hideous! She's crazier than a squirrel with 2 tails and he's Elmer Gantry.

    September 15, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  10. drake

    Even a crook like Perry (take it from a native Texan) looks good next to Bachmann. And that is not a compliment at all. The GOP has gone looney. Obama looks much stronger than the clowns they are serving up.

    September 15, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. Bill

    That explains why she's nuts, she got the vaccine.

    September 15, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. Steve

    It's amazing how times change. Back in the fifties students were required to take oral polio vaccine in school. No one complained because everyone understood the dangers of the disease, and that it could be eradicated with everyone’s cooperation. Now polio cases occur mostly in third-world countries but very seldom in the U.S. I’m not a Perry supporter but in this instance he acted responsibly, and Bachman is flat-out wrong. This stupid attack by Bachman makes me wonder what other misguided ideas she is keeping to herself.

    September 15, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  13. Justin Cider

    Bachmann has gone full retard!

    September 15, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    Oh, Peggy ... you've got Perry down to a T. Too funny. Another thought: Romney - the supposed sane one of the bunch and who by all accounts SHOULD be coming across as the "statesman", looks more confused than anything - almost as if he hasn't quite got the"joke", whatever the "joke" might be.

    September 15, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  15. Keith

    Slick Rick Pay-to-Play Perry lashed out at Bachmann saying "There is absolutely no proof that the HPV vaccine causes mental retardation. In fact, you yourself Ms. Bachmann have taken the vaccine and... ummm... wait... maybe that's not a good example."

    So Slick Rick, setting aside the "mental retardation" mis-direction effort, tell us about the whole "you hate government interfering in private lives" aspect to this?

    September 15, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. Keith

    Here we go. Another trip into "Republicanland" where arguing over who more strongly supports false facts is the order of the day.

    September 15, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  17. Alert Citizen

    I did not understand the issue itself.
    State made HPV vaccine mandeotry to protect citizens: Good Idea
    They gave parents right to opt out: Great Idea
    where is the conflict? These tea baggers think that they have more knowledge than doctors (that are getting funding from government) to decide whats good for them and their kids. If they have an option to opt out where is the problem?

    September 15, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. Behonest

    The more Michele Bachmann talks, the more she makes herself looks stupid and under educate. She simply JUMP into conclusion with little to no fact on hand with pretty much all issues, just because "somebody said so"... Good luck if she ever became the President. You think other countries think US is a joke now, wait till you have Bachmann running the country, I think you will have better luck praying... As much as I don't like that Trump dude, if I had to pick...

    September 15, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  19. SuburbanBob

    Rick Perry needs to post a "FOR SALE" sign on his forehead...

    September 15, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. Alina77

    Who cares?! Bachmann lies like there is no tomorrow, Perry doesn't make any sense for most of the time. They both playing for "their" people and go higher and higher "as a balloon" that about pup.

    September 15, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. Canadian Dude

    Are there any vaccines for stupidity yet?

    September 15, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  22. Bessy

    @ Bryan Paul did say that if people get sick and they have no insurance, the way it was in the old days, " the church would help them get medical help ". Now that is a real idiotic statement. How many people can the churches help with their medical bills ? Oh, and who does the churches get their money from ? Duh ! Their members of course. So, back to square one, where we the people should pay for other folks bills so that they don't have to carry any medical insurance. Can people even begin to comprehend how stupid it is to suggest that we shouldn't have to carry medical insurance so that everybody else can pay our medical bills. I say thank God for Obama's medical plan and I really think it should have even gone further.

    September 15, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. Ripped Off

    Either way, he ripped tons of money FOR HIMSELF out of this deal and paid little/no taxes on it. He might have helped these girls medically...but medically should never be MANDATORY..people have rights weather someone sticks a needle in them. And given the fact that SO MANY drugs are LATER found to be Fatal or crippling , Mandatory should never be Even ON THE TABLE

    September 15, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  24. jcm52

    Since when did Perry care about scientific facts? He claims that Texas teaches creationism and evolution and he claims there's no proof on global warming. If he doesn't believe in science there, why does he believe it here?

    September 15, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. Johnny Cochran

    "I care about life," Perry said.

    says the Gov'na who executed more people than anyone in modern times. bravo.
    even better was the applause he drew for killing them and the applause when ron paul says people shouldn't be kept alive who couldn't pay for it. hahahaha.

    September 15, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
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