Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is strongly criticized for her comments earlier this week that a HPV vaccine once mandated by Texas Gov. Rick Perry might cause “mental retardation” in children. The comments occurred last week during the Tea Party debate that aired on CNN. Perry was being criticized for accepting campaign donations from drug makers.
“She made a mistake. The quicker she admits she made a mistake and moves on, the better she is,” Ed Rollins, the former campaign manager for the presidential candidate, said in an interview on MSNBC on Wednesday. “Ms. Bachmann’s an emotional person who basically has great feeling for people. I think that’s what she was trying to project. Obviously, it would have been better if she had stayed on the issue,” he added.
Rollins admitted that Bachmann has taken what was an important issue for her and at the least tainted it, allowing Perry to escape the full brunt of scrutiny.
“I think the bottom line here is she has made what was a very positive debate and made the issue about Perry to where it’s now an issue about her, and she needs to move on,” Rollins said.
Bachmann made her comment moments after Monday night’s Republican presidential debate in Tampa, Fla., in which she scored points on Perry by attacking him for his 2007 attempt to implement a mandatory HPV vaccination against the human papillomavirus for sixth-grade girls in Texas.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry received at least $23,500 in campaign contributions from drug-maker Merck and Co. This included $5,000 in 2006 the year before he ordered girls throughout the state to take a new Merck vaccine.
The total is greater than the $5,000 that Perry, seeking the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, acknowledged receiving from the company during a debate last night in Florida. The drug-maker also has donated about $500,000 to the Republican Governors Association, a group that Perry chaired twice and has been among his most generous campaign donors.