As expected at least at some point in the night, all guns turned on frontrunner Rick Perry midway through the Republican debate hosted by CNN and the Tea Party tonight. Somewhat surprisingly, the turning point came after a question about Perry’s executive order mandating HPV vaccines for girls, which several other candidates, notably Rep. Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, found “offensive.”
Perry didn’t seem to 100% support his decision to mandate the HPV vaccine against cancer, noting that the “way I went about it” would change if he had a second chance. That didnt’ stop Rep. Bachmann from attacking strongly. “I’m a mom,” she responded, “and to have innocent little 12-year-old girls be forced to have a government injection through an executive order is just flat-out wrong.”
Perry replied that his decision was “about trying to stop a cancer,” arguing, “at the end of the day, you may criticize me about the way that I went about it… [but] I am always going to err on the side of life.”
Somewhat unexpectedly, Rick Santorum hopped into the debate to rail against the vaccines himself, and particularly the fact that vaccinations are often given in public schools, without giving parents a choice. The attention went swiftly back to Rep. Bachmann, however, as she brought up campaign contributions that Perry found “offensive.” “I’m offended for all the little girls that didn’t make a choice,” she retorted.
The segment via CNN below:
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