But campaign disclosure records portray a much deeper financial connection with Merck than Perry’s remarks would suggest.

Perry’s gubernatorial campaign, for example, received nearly $30,000 from the drugmaker since 2000, most of it prior to his decision in 2007 to order young girls to obtain Merck’s vaccine against the human papillomavirus, or HPV.

Merck has also given more than $355,000 in donations to the Republican Governors Association since 2006, which was the year that Perry began to play a prominent role in the Washington-based group, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.