Bachmann: Gardasil causes “mental retardation”

posted at 10:45 am on September 13, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier today, I noted that Michele Bachmann finally scored points on Rick Perry by hitting him on his ties to Merck and linking that to the Gardasil mandate Perry imposed through executive order in Texas. This is a fair point on Perry’s record, even given his apology for pursuing the mandate through EO instead of through the legislature, and it’s not surprising that Bachmann was the candidate to first take advantage of the opening. (Mitt Romney passed a mandate on health insurance for all citizens of Massachusetts, which pretty much puts this issue out of reach for him.) However, Bachmann took a winning argument about the method and the wisdom of mandating a vaccination for a limited-spread virus and turned it into an anti-vaccination argument, especially in this post-debate argument on Fox with Greta van Susteren (via The Right Scoop):

There’s a woman who came up crying to me tonight after the debate. She said her daughter was given that vaccine. She told me her daughter suffered mental retardation as a result of that vaccine.

Huh? “Mental retardation” typically takes place in a pre- or neo-natal event. Autism becomes apparent in the first couple of years of life — and primarily affects boys. Gardasil vaccinations take place among girls between 9-12 years of age. Even assuming that this anecdote is arguably true, it wouldn’t be either “mental retardation” or autism, but brain damage.

The FDA has received no reports of brain damage as a result of HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix.  Among the reports that correlate seriously adverse reactions to either, the FDA lists blood clots, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and 68 deaths during the entire run of the drugs.  The FDA found no causal connection to any of these serious adverse events and found plenty of contributing factors to all — and all of the events are exceedingly rare.

The “mental retardation” argument is a rehash of the thoroughly discredited notion that vaccines containing thimerasol caused a rapid increase in diagnosed autism cases.  That started with a badly-botched report in Lancet that allowed one researcher to manipulate a ridiculously small sample of twelve cases in order to reach far-sweeping conclusions about thimerasol.  That preservative hasn’t been included in vaccines for years, at least not in the US, and the rate of autism diagnoses remain unchanged.

The most charitable analysis that can be offered in this case for Bachmann is that she got duped into repeating a vaccine-scare urban legend on national television.  It looks more like Bachmann sensed that she had won a point and wanted to go in for the kill, didn’t bother to check the facts, and didn’t care that she was stoking an anti-vaccination paranoid conspiracy theory, either.  Neither shines a particularly favorable light on Bachmann.

Rick Santorum took the correct position on the Gardasil issue.  We mandate certain vaccines in children because we mandate children be gathered for educational purposes for many years (in private or public schools), and certain diseases are easily communicable in those settings.  By mandating vaccinations against whooping cough, measles, and mumps, we are protecting children who would otherwise get exposed without any action on their part except compliance with the law.  That’s not true with HPV, and parents should decide for themselves whether to inoculate their sons and daughters with Gardasil or Cervarix.  If Perry wanted to make those inoculations more accessible, he could have crafted an opt-in system rather than forcing parents to opt out.

Update: Politico’s Ben Smith notes that Bachmann’s statement is getting some pushback in the health sector:

The alleged link between vaccination and mental disabilities — autism is the one frequently cited — has been repeatedly debunked, with the key research on the issue in a British journal withdrawn years ago. But the theory has lived on, and contributed to declining vaccine rates and — advocates for autistic children say — scientific distraction.

“Congresswoman Bachmann’s decision to spread fear of vaccines is dangerous and irresponsible,” said Evan Siegfried, a spokesman for the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership. “There is zero credible scientific evidence that vaccines cause mental retardation or autism. She should cease trying to foment fear in order to advance her political agenda.”

“Irresponsible” is correct, and a bad tactical error, too.  Instead of highlighting Perry’s faulty actions in Texas, she made herself and (at best) her ignorance on the matter the story.

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Then maybe Bachmann has taken the vaccine. That would explain a lot.

Mark1971 on September 13, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Cya bachmann

You just couldn’t let it go post debate

cmsinaz on September 13, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Hey, you know what other states mandate vaccinations for children?

Most of them.

Including Minnesota.

amerpundit on September 13, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Stop this now, Bachmann. You won’t like where this road ends.

KingGold on September 13, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Perhaps the crying woman discovered her daughter was liberal and thus the anguish about mental retardation.

But seriously, come on MB, this was lazy on your part and looked a tad hysterical.

Bishop on September 13, 2011 at 10:50 AM

DERP

Good Lt on September 13, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Ugghh… just go away lady.

Not that I’m an expert on the MN political scene, but she is garnering no favor amongst the conservatives I know in her district.

strictnein on September 13, 2011 at 10:50 AM

He admitted the mistake, move on

Go after dear leader!

cmsinaz on September 13, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Mental retardation as a result of a vaccination? Did Bachmann even think before regurgitating that line?

Doughboy on September 13, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Every time Bachmann says something smart (criticizing the HPV rule), she says something stupid.

This is one of the most idiotic things I have heard in a long time.

neoavatara on September 13, 2011 at 10:51 AM

I see a sinking ship.

Vashta.Nerada on September 13, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Bachmann couldn’t let it go by just attacking the idea of mandating the vaccine. She had to go and make unscientific claims about adverse side effects.

amerpundit on September 13, 2011 at 10:51 AM

She said her daughter was given that vaccine. She told me her daughter suffered mental retardation as a result of that vaccine.

Did she mean the daughter of her daughter who got the vaccination?

Either way, she’s going to get slammed as an anti-vaccination person.

forest on September 13, 2011 at 10:51 AM

I’m embarrassed for her…again.

flyfisher on September 13, 2011 at 10:51 AM

It’s true: Gardasil causes mental retardation — in Michelle Bachmann.

I understand you trying to diss Perry for something that is, in the overall scheme of things, minor (and which Perry admitted was a mistake), Ed. After all, your former boss is in full foot-stamping rage against Perry. I guess the only True Conservative candidate she’ll support is Michelle Malkin.

The more the subterraneans attack, the more I favor Perry.

MrScribbler on September 13, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Desperation. Not the mark of leadership.

publiuspen on September 13, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Then maybe Bachmann has taken the vaccine. That would explain a lot.

Mark1971 on September 13, 2011 at 10:48 AM

LOL.

Stick a fork in her…she’s done.

changer1701 on September 13, 2011 at 10:53 AM

There’s a woman who came up crying to me tonight after the debate. She said her daughter was given that vaccine. She told me her daughter suffered mental retardation as a result of that vaccine.

As much as people think she landed a blow on Perry with this issue… it will prove her undoing.

Even if true (which I doubt), all vaccines carry some inherent risk.

I think all vaccines should be by parental choice unless it can be shown that not having a vaccine poses a threat to those who have been vaccinated (good luck with that).

mankai on September 13, 2011 at 10:53 AM

MrScribbler on September 13, 2011 at 10:52 AM

She’s not my boss and hasn’t been for 18 months. Try to keep up.

Also, if you’re reading my work and think I’m anti-Perry, I think you need to read it a little better.

Ed Morrissey on September 13, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Well, there goes my defense of Bachmann. Sorry, sweetie, it’s one thing to say parents should choose what’s right for their children, and Perry was definitely on the wrong side of that line. But it’s quite another to parrot Andrew Wakefield and Jenny McCarthy.

She’s toast. The best she can hope for now is to try to steal enough points from Perry to hand the nomination to Romney. And that would be a nightmare for conservatives.

Caiwyn on September 13, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Bachmann ran to grab hold of the prize and tripped over her own feet.

RedRedRice on September 13, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Ok. Step away from the mic and go back to Minnesota

ConservativePartyNow on September 13, 2011 at 10:54 AM

If Perry wanted to make those inoculations more accessible, he could have crafted an opt-in system rather than forcing parents to opt out.

But, Ed, you’re forgetting something. Insurance companies don’t cover opt-in vaccines and this vaccine schedule of three shots comes to a total of over $300. The low and even middle income parents who would have wanted to have their daughters vaccinated most likely wouldn’t have been able to afford that.

I didn’t like Perry’s strategy of an EO at all, but there appears to have been some logic behind making the vaccine “mandatory” while including what has been described in another comment thread here at HA as the easiest of all opt-outs.

Kim Priestap on September 13, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Oy.

Ugly on September 13, 2011 at 10:54 AM

There’s a woman who came up crying to me tonight after the debate. She said her daughter was given that vaccine. She told me her daughter suffered mental retardation as a result of that vaccine.

Drop out, Michele.

mankai on September 13, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Another

“You know who this looks good for?”

huckleberryfriend on September 13, 2011 at 10:55 AM

I had only said I wouldn’t vote Republican if Ron Paul were the nominee. After this, I’m adding Bachmann to the list. Anti-vaccine ideas kill people.

thuja on September 13, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Casting a vote for her would be very hard after all this.

Perry was wrong and admitted he made a mistake.

Bachmann is trying to score a cheap political point and is making herself look idiotic and sleazy in the process.

gophergirl on September 13, 2011 at 10:56 AM

REally didn’t like Bachmann’s extended attack on perry about this. Don’t like the EO, fine. Want to compare it to Obamacare, cool. But she was going on like Perry was trying to rape little girls. The parents could have opted their kids out of it if they wanted to. So no Michelle 12 year old girls were not violated with an injection.

Zaggs on September 13, 2011 at 10:56 AM

I guess the only True Conservative candidate she’ll support is Michelle Malkin.

MrScribbler on September 13, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Not for nothing, but Michelle herself is getting dangerously close to an anti-vaccination angle in her own take on the subject. I’m concerned that pushback against Perry on Gardasil is getting a lot of smart people to say some critically stupid things.

Anti-vaccination arguments come from the fringe, and anyone who incorporates that into their political agenda on any level needs to be rethought as a viable option.

This is not global warming science, in which the minority is not only sizable but on solid ground. This is junk science and paranoia-fueled conspiracy theory.

KingGold on September 13, 2011 at 10:56 AM

… And another one bites the dust.

bitsy on September 13, 2011 at 10:56 AM

*facepalm*

Bachmann…think a little harder before you speak. You seem to be working hard to lose support.

MadisonConservative on September 13, 2011 at 10:56 AM

…it’s quite another to parrot Andrew Wakefield and Jenny McCarthy.

She’s toast. The best she can hope for now is to try to steal enough points from Perry to hand the nomination to Romney. And that would be a nightmare for conservatives.

Caiwyn on September 13, 2011 at 10:54 AM

This

Ugly on September 13, 2011 at 10:56 AM

I’d like to see Bachmann and Santorum aim some of their indignation at Romney.

Romney’s website brags about how he balanced the Massachusetts budget “without raising taxes.” That depends on what the meaning of “taxes” is. Unmentioned on the Romney website is how he dealt with a state budget gap: namely, by quadrupling the fee for a Firearms Identification card (FID) to $100. Without a FID in Massachusetts, you are a felon if you possess a single bullet, even if you don’t own a gun. The FID card is required even to possess defensive pepper spray. Thus, an impoverished woman who wanted to buy a $15 can of pepper spray was forced by Romney to spend $100 for the privilege of defending her own life (North Shore Sunday News, August 8, 2003).

For me that’s a much bigger outrage than Perry’s opt-out vaccine program that was never implemented. Who is the bigger threat to liberty?

flyfisher on September 13, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Anti-vaccination arguments come from the fringe, and anyone who incorporates that into their political agenda on any level needs to be rethought as a viable option.

KingGold on September 13, 2011 at 10:56 AM

At the same time, there is no reason an issue about executive power should be hijacked and turned into an anti-vaccination issue, either by those who support Perry, those who support Bachmann, or anyone else.

MadisonConservative on September 13, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Not that I’m an expert on the MN political scene, but she is garnering no favor amongst the conservatives I know in her district.
strictnein on September 13, 2011 at 10:50 AM

There are no conservatives in MN-06.

Bishop on September 13, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Prove it Bachmann, otherwise shut up. If all she’s got is unproven panic mongering then she’s not worth listening to.

rplat on September 13, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Bachmann, please take your daily dose of Gardasil, and then join McCain on the bench.

Karmi on September 13, 2011 at 10:58 AM

One has got to be careful. Any plant or supporter of another candidate can flat out make up a story to her at such an event. You can’t just run with it. Gotta check it out first.

Dongemaharu on September 13, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Paging Jenny McCarthy.

I guess Bachmann has become the GOP version of celebrity politician. Why not? She’s like Obama is so many other ways.

No leadership experience – check

Never managed anything – check

Never ran anything – check

Thinks giving speeches constitutes leadership – check

Gets on tv and complains about the other party with no real solutions or alternatives – check

Overly obsessed with how they look – check

Refuses to meet with people with whom they disagree to resolve problems and come up with workable solutions – check

I don’t see why we shouldn’t add “spewing nonsense about “science” with no data to back it up cause it gets me on TV like Hollywood celebrities – I want to be a celebrity too” to the list.

ramrants on September 13, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Oh dear.
Rule of thumb: don’t trust CNN audiences.

balkanmom on September 13, 2011 at 10:59 AM

M.B. was one of my favorites.

The deeper we go into the true thinking and beliefs of these candidates, the more depressed I become.

As I see it the only right thinking, intelligent patriot is…………………….MEEEEE!!!

FOWG1 on September 13, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Ed. After all, your former boss… MrScribbler on September 13, 2011 at 10:52 AM

She’s not my boss and hasn’t been for 18 months. Try to keep up. Ed Morrissey on September 13, 2011 at 10:54 AM

I’m just saying…

Akzed on September 13, 2011 at 11:00 AM

I understand you trying to diss Perry for something that is, in the overall scheme of things, minor (and which Perry admitted was a mistake), Ed.

Admitted was a mistake…then went on to defend by talking about how he is “for life”…as if anyone who disagrees with him on the issue is “for death”.

After all, your former boss is in full foot-stamping rage against Perry. I guess the only True Conservative candidate she’ll support is Michelle Malkin.

So you don’t like MM. Whoopee. What does that have to do with Ed, given that she hasn’t been his boss in a long time?

The more the subterraneans attack, the more I favor Perry.

MrScribbler on September 13, 2011 at 10:52 AM

The more Perry fans sound like Palinistas/Ronulans/Mittens/etc, the more I shy away from him.

MadisonConservative on September 13, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Perry made a mistake…as opposed to sitting on the sidelines snipping at people, voting present, or dodging decisions…leaders make mistakes, get it? They are not perfect, they make mistakes, sometimes big ones, that is how the world works…but to sit there and continuously bash this one subject, shows how little negatives they have on Perry.
Take one incident, and beat us to death with it, and many will eventually succumb because many are just not very strong minded…Bush is dim witted, Reagan is dumb, Ford is clumsy, Quayle is stupid, Palin can see Russia from her back porch…it is so easy to manipulate most of you…

right2bright on September 13, 2011 at 11:01 AM

The mental retardation comment coupled with that horse laugh should end any remote chance she had. After last night she should fear for her seat in Congress.

Stayright on September 13, 2011 at 11:01 AM

There was an opt out of the process.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-IUBPnAr90J0/SE0xbnH37EI/AAAAAAAAA0Q/HeB1kJ5c7f4/ToHard.jpg

CommentGuy on September 13, 2011 at 11:01 AM

“The FDA has received no reports of brain damage as a result of HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix. Among the reports that correlate seriously adverse reactions to either, the FDA lists blood clots, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and 68 deaths during the entire run of the drugs. The FDA found no causal connection to any of these serious adverse events and found plenty of contributing factors to all — and all of the events are exceedingly rare.”

Tell the above to the parents of the 68 children who died.

Altho, I must admit that MB was over the top on this one.
However, perhaps a parent did say that to her and she was
just repeating it. LOL!!!!

Perry was wrong on more than one level and
I am sure posters have stated the facts over and over again
on this website.

Now can we get to Perry’s immigration policy disaster which
contributes to the disease problem along with in state tuition
for illegal’s children; oh, and there is something about Perry
wanting to have some health insurance program for both Texas
and Mexico 62 miles each way of the border? Any info on that
folks?

Amjean on September 13, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Prove it Bachmann, otherwise shut up. If all she’s got is unproven panic mongering then she’s not worth listening to.

rplat on September 13, 2011 at 10:58 AM

There’s a woman who came up crying…

You need more evidence than that?

/

Honestly, she sounds like a Democrat with that kind of “evidence.” The entire argument against Reagan was based on similar levels of “evidence”. The only think missing was that she didn’t bite her bottom lip as she told the story.

mankai on September 13, 2011 at 11:01 AM

He admitted the mistake, move on

Go after dear leader!

cmsinaz on September 13, 2011 at 10:51 AM

God I miss Reagan. One of these candidates needs to stand up and remind all of the Reagan wannabees of his 11th Commandment. The country burns to the ground and these folks are arguing about vaccinations.

VegasRick on September 13, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Yeah, she and Santorum are reeking of desperation. Gingrich, Cain and Romney seem much calmer.

Iblis on September 13, 2011 at 11:01 AM

The new Christine O’Donnell

unclesmrgol on September 13, 2011 at 11:02 AM

I’m embarrassed for her…again.

flyfisher on September 13, 2011 at 10:51 AM

She looks pretty hot in that photo, though.

But the more she talks, the more she loses support. She needs to STFU now.

UltimateBob on September 13, 2011 at 11:02 AM

This is a fair point on Perry’s record, even given his apology for pursuing the mandate through EO instead of through the legislature….

This is what the real world calls a dead issue, Ed. It means nothing when compared to the daily doses of foolishness that emanate from the White House.

A “fair point” would only exist here if Perry was still pushing Gardasil, as Mutt Romney still pushes MassCare.

With priorities like these, we will lose in ’12. Will Malkin and the rest of the people turning their laser-like focus on this issue declare a moral victory because they defeated the Gardasil Candidate?

Bet on it.

MrScribbler on September 13, 2011 at 11:02 AM

I will point out that I know of a few children who have developed autism-like symptoms as a result of immunizations; the issue is most likely mercury toxicity, or bacterial contamination from the injection, not the vaccine itself.

Vashta.Nerada on September 13, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Romney’s website brags about how he balanced the Massachusetts budget “without raising taxes.” That depends on what the meaning of “taxes” is. Unmentioned on the Romney website is how he dealt with a state budget gap: namely, by quadrupling the fee for a Firearms Identification card (FID) to $100. Without a FID in Massachusetts, you are a felon if you possess a single bullet, even if you don’t own a gun. The FID card is required even to possess defensive pepper spray. Thus, an impoverished woman who wanted to buy a $15 can of pepper spray was forced by Romney to spend $100 for the privilege of defending her own life (North Shore Sunday News, August 8, 2003).

flyfisher on September 13, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Not only that, but Mittens made the claim once again last night that Romneycare was fully paid for and didn’t require any tax hikes. Well yeah, but that’s because the federal government funded half the damn program. Why no one nails him on this(especially Perry) is beyond me. If a schlub like me on some random blog knows about it, one would assume their campaign staffers are also aware.

BTW, Ron Paul was correct when he said Perry had raised taxes as governor. I’m equally surprised Romney and others haven’t nailed him on that one.

Doughboy on September 13, 2011 at 11:02 AM

“Irresponsible” is correct, and a bad tactical error, too. Instead of highlighting Perry’s faulty actions in Texas, she made herself and (at best) her ignorance on the matter the story.

That’s putting it in the best possible light. The story about causing mental retardation is either BS, or a mother clinging to any excuse. She did okay last night, with this she jumped the shark.

Bachman just got moved off my list.

cozmo on September 13, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Bachmann out. Just give it enough time so that it sinks in…for her.

RDE2010 on September 13, 2011 at 11:03 AM

God I miss Reagan. One of these candidates needs to stand up and remind all of the Reagan wannabees of his 11th Commandment. The country burns to the ground and these folks are arguing about vaccinations.

VegasRick on September 13, 2011 at 11:01 AM

The 11th commandment has been dead for many years, given that modern political races are all about what’s wrong with other candidates rather than what’s right with each.

MadisonConservative on September 13, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Bachmann’s mouth strikes again. Is she competing with Biden for the position of gaffe machine?

Kermit on September 13, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Hmmmm. Mental retardation. My daughter was vaccinated about 6 years ago. Maybe this explains the recent tattoos and piercings.

Rod on September 13, 2011 at 11:03 AM

*SIGH*

capejasmine on September 13, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Even Mitt in the prior debate said everyone makes an error in judgment on approach to an issue now and then.

This will be a non critical primary issue only and won’t survive into the general.

CommentGuy on September 13, 2011 at 11:04 AM

and the rate of autism diagnoses remain unchanged.

I don’t normally like to quibble a small point in an otherwise excellent post…

But the rate of autism diagnoses has significantly risen. This actually proves the point even more that the preservative thimerasol has nothing to do with causing autism since it is noted that its removal from the immunizations has not caused austism diagnoses to decline, but they have actually increased.

I suppose someone who is as dim at science as the original data manipulator for the Lancet piece could make a claim that thimerasol helped to keep autism rates down since there’s been an increase since its removal.

Anyway, minor point, excellent post, and Bachmann doesn’t know how to quit when she’s ahead.

DrAllecon on September 13, 2011 at 11:04 AM

She’s not my boss and hasn’t been for 18 months. Try to keep up.

Also, if you’re reading my work and think I’m anti-Perry, I think you need to read it a little better.

Ed Morrissey on September 13, 2011 at 10:54 AM

He said “former boss”, Ed.

amerpundit on September 13, 2011 at 11:04 AM

I heard earrings cause teh ghey in men.

Ugly on September 13, 2011 at 11:05 AM

BTW, Ron Paul was correct when he said Perry had raised taxes as governor. I’m equally surprised Romney and others haven’t nailed him on that one.

Doughboy on September 13, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Ron Paul’s taxes have gone up since his local school district has increased property tax millages.

He is a moron or either thinks that the voters are morons. 130 embassies amount to military occupation?

Kermit on September 13, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Frank Sinatra forever known as “Ol Blue Eyes”

Michelle Bachmann forever known as “Ol crazy eyes”

Bradky on September 13, 2011 at 11:05 AM

The mental retardation comment coupled with that horse laugh should end any remote chance she had. After last night she should fear for her seat in Congress.
Stayright on September 13, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Have to agree with the laugh part of your comment. I live in MB’s district and voted for her, but now that I know what her laugh sounds like I cannot in good conscience vote for her again.

Bishop on September 13, 2011 at 11:06 AM

I’d like to see Bachmann and Santorum aim some of their indignation at Romney.

Romney’s website brags about how he balanced the Massachusetts budget “without raising taxes.” That depends on what the meaning of “taxes” is. Unmentioned on the Romney website is how he dealt with a state budget gap: namely, by quadrupling the fee for a Firearms Identification card (FID) to $100. Without a FID in Massachusetts, you are a felon if you possess a single bullet, even if you don’t own a gun. The FID card is required even to possess defensive pepper spray. Thus, an impoverished woman who wanted to buy a $15 can of pepper spray was forced by Romney to spend $100 for the privilege of defending her own life (North Shore Sunday News, August 8, 2003).

For me that’s a much bigger outrage than Perry’s opt-out vaccine program that was never implemented. Who is the bigger threat to liberty?flyfisher on September 13, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Ugh. Romney just isn’t a conservative.

Stayright on September 13, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Yeppet Vegasrick

Newt did his best last night

cmsinaz on September 13, 2011 at 11:06 AM

I never did really consider Bachmann a contender. She is a mini-Palin (without the street smarts) back bencher.

The more this primary mud fight is playing out, the smarter I’m beginning to think Palin is in waiting to see who the real contenders are before she jumps in.

KickandSwimMom on September 13, 2011 at 11:06 AM

I told her to shut up about this!

bloggless on September 13, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Bachmann went from “Rick Perry’s approach was bad” to “Gardasil (or even vaccination) itself is bad.” The first is arguably true, the second is arguably not.

Oh, and just as a side note, the purpose of vaccination is not primarily to protect a particular individual against a disease–that’s important, but still just a close second. The primary reason for vaccination is so that the population as a whole becomes inhospitable for the disease, and it can’t be transmitted or find new hosts in which to reproduce. This is why diseases like polio and smallpox are now completely vanquished.

Those people who eschew vaccination are relying on the rest of the population, who IS vaccinated, to protect them by being inhospitable hosts to the disease and therefore not carrying it. However, once a significant enough segment of the population is unvaccinated, the disease can gain a foothold, and begin to spread through the population again.

This, I think, was Rick Perry’s rationale for the mandatory Gardasil vaccinations. Once enough of the population is immune, the HPV virus cannot find enough new hosts to reproduce and spread, and could potentially even be eliminated entirely.

One can certainly argue whether or not this justifies mandatory vaccination… but to attack vaccination itself, rather than the forced nature of it, is not going to do Bachmann any favors.

TSUGambler on September 13, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Finally HotAir admits Bachmann only cares about Bachmann. Took you long enough. How long before you admit the same about $lick RickSter?

Jayrae on September 13, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Bachmann is a flaming idiot. This is a vaccine that promises to wipe out a virus that causes both cervical cancer and throat cancer. She acts as if simply giving this shot to a girl will somehow make her run right out and start having sex with people. This virus kills both men and women. It has been living with human beings practically since there have been human beings.

Practically every human being is infected with one strain or another of it. Ever have a wart anywhere on your body? Congratulations, you have a strain of HPV.

This isn’t so much about being a vaccine against an STD as it is ridding the population of a strain of virus that kills people. Now I suppose in a perfect world if a person had sex with only one person for their entire life, this disease would have never spread but such an expectation is unrealistic.

Bachmann is a a complete fool on this issue. My daughter is getting this shot. There is no way I am going to see her go through something later in life that could have been avoided with a simple vaccine.

I just can’t take Bachmann seriously.

crosspatch on September 13, 2011 at 11:06 AM

I agree her statement post-debate is not only cringe-worthy but as Ben and Ed pointed out irresponsible, but the personal attacks on Bachmann are rather crass.

Perry had his heart in the right place but overreached in the implementation and has said it was a mistake on national TV – imagine that a politician admitting a mistake, it was refreshing to hear. But Bachmann continued on and overreached in her attack during the debate (“forcing innocent little girls” after being told there was an opt-out) and now went over the cliff.

HPV is a real danger, and as a parent of a 5yo girl I was pissed when Perry’s ‘mandate’ was passed by EO, not because I think HPV is bad or the vaccine is a horrible idea, but because no one in the media reported on the opt-out and it was during that time-period when the Lancet report Ed mentioned had yet to be discredited. Knowing what I know now I still agree the EO was wrong but had Perry gone through the Legislature and the opt-out was as easy as described I would have had no issue. When 50% of the population has or is carrying HPV it’s a health risk, and since it isn’t only contracted through sex (infected blood as well) it is something to be aware of and poses a danger to women later in life.

I sort of look at this issue like this: if a vaccine for another killer virus spread primarily via sexual contact, HIV, was discovered how many people would argue that we should make such a vaccine mandatory with an opt-out that are railing against the HPV vaccine today?

smfoushee on September 13, 2011 at 11:07 AM

She looks pretty hot in that photo, though.

But the more she talks, the more she loses support. She needs to STFU now.

UltimateBob on September 13, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Translation: UltimateBob likes his conservative women hot and silent… ;)

Bradky on September 13, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Altho, I must admit that MB was over the top on this one.
However, perhaps a parent did say that to her and she was
just repeating it. LOL!!!!

Amjean on September 13, 2011 at 11:01 AM

You don’t haphazardly repeat unconfirmed claims about FDA-approved medicine on national television. Especially not when you’re running for president.

amerpundit on September 13, 2011 at 11:07 AM

What’s she going to say next-that Gardasil causes autism(vaccines DON’T cause autism btw!)?
To borrow from the Great One: Get off the stage, you big dope!

annoyinglittletwerp on September 13, 2011 at 11:07 AM

This was a stupid issue for her to sink herself over.

bloggless on September 13, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Perry has his faults, but when he talks on the economy he makes sense.

Does Bachmann think I am going to support her because of this? I want to hear about regulations, taxes, free markets (with sepcifics)… not some issue that Perry has already explained satisfactorily (IMHO).

mankai on September 13, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Theory: the woman who approached Bachmann was a democRat operative who planted that thought in her mind. Bachmann didn’t fact check it and used it. Every politician would do the same thing to score points.

She made a mistake by repeating the story without attribution. DUH!

Jarhead68 on September 13, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Bachmann is a loon.

Queen of Rage indeed. If she keeps this up, she won’t even be able to win re-election to the House.

portlandon on September 13, 2011 at 11:08 AM

I stopped taking her seriously when she said Concord Massachusetts was located here in New Hampshire.

Del Dolemonte on September 13, 2011 at 11:08 AM

So hard to believe these people are considered our best hope…..ya gotta be kidding me!

KMC1 on September 13, 2011 at 11:08 AM

He said “former boss”, Ed.

amerpundit on September 13, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Yeah, which makes it completely idiotic. What does that have to do with the topic at all?

Ed Morrissey on September 13, 2011 at 11:09 AM

The 11th commandment has been dead for many years, given that modern political races are all about what’s wrong with other candidates rather than what’s right with each.

MadisonConservative on September 13, 2011 at 11:03 AM

The Eleventh Commandment is not “dead.” It just doesn’t mean what a lot of people seem to think it means. To wit: “Thou shalt not attack my candidate.”

The Eleventh Commandment has to do with personal criticism, Republicans undermining one another in the accomplishment of party goals, and is specifically not intended to be deployed in primary races. After all, how on earth could Bob Bennett have been removed if we couldn’t say why he was wrong?

KingGold on September 13, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Hmmmm. Mental retardation. My daughter was vaccinated about 6 years ago. Maybe this explains the recent tattoos and piercings.
Rod on September 13, 2011 at 11:03 AM

How old is she? One of my younger daughters came down for school the other day wearing mascara for the first time; I looked at her…she looked at me…and daughter hastily went back upstairs to remove mascara. Piercings or tattoos would warrant a near death sentence.

Bishop on September 13, 2011 at 11:09 AM

The lefties continue to distort

http://themorningspew.com/2011/09/13/left-distorts-again/

bloggless on September 13, 2011 at 11:09 AM

The mental retardation comment coupled with that horse laugh should end any remote chance she had. After last night she should fear for her seat in Congress.
Stayright on September 13, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Have to agree with the laugh part of your comment. I live in MB’s district and voted for her, but now that I know what her laugh sounds like I cannot in good conscience vote for her again.

Bishop on September 13, 2011 at 11:06 AM

I wasn’t serious about not voting for her because of the laugh. I’m not that shallow. But what’s up with that laugh? She sounds unhinged. Just imagine what the comedians could do with that. Maybe I was serious.

Stayright on September 13, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Yeah, which makes it completely idiotic. What does that have to do with the topic at all?

Ed Morrissey on September 13, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Not sure.

Perhaps it was a take on Allah’s “Boss Emeritus” references.

But I can’t speak for him in that regard.

amerpundit on September 13, 2011 at 11:10 AM

The 11th commandment has been dead for many years, given that modern political races are all about what’s wrong with other candidates rather than what’s right with each.

MadisonConservative on September 13, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Perhaps someone should try to revive it. The main thing in 2012 is to unseat obambi and save our country, tearing each other apart on stupid issies just shows how shallow some of these folks are.

VegasRick on September 13, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Yikes! This is the kind of wild over-the-top statements liberals resort to. (Sheila Jackson Lee anyone?). But it might get her an invite to “The View”.

ziggyville on September 13, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Yeah, which makes it completely idiotic. What does that have to do with the topic at all?

Ed Morrissey on September 13, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Um, because her pushback against the Gardasil EO is nearly on par with Bachmann’s in the form of overwrought, conspiratorial polemic?

The fact that this site itself is effectively her brainchild is, I believe, relevant.

KingGold on September 13, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Bachmann is now burnt toast as far as I’m concerned.

Dusty on September 13, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Unfortunate. Now the chatter is shifting/shifted from Perry to “hey, Bachmann thinks vaccinations are bad!”

On the other hand, better now than when Bachmann would be receiving *real* attention from the mainstream.

JohnTant on September 13, 2011 at 11:12 AM

See ya Bachmann… Better luck next cycle.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on September 13, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Michele Bachmann, this is approaching the definition of an unforced error…

JohnGalt23 on September 13, 2011 at 11:13 AM

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