TODAY   |  September 13, 2011

Bachmann: Perry’s HPV vaccine order immoral

GOP presidential hopeful and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann tells TODAY's Matt Lauer that Texas Gov. Rick Perry abused his executive authority with an executive order requiring young girls to receive the HPV vaccine.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> presidential hopeful and minnesota congresswoman michele bachmann is with us from tampa, florida. congresswoman bachmann , good morning, nice to have you here.

>> good morning, matt. thanks for having me on.

>> it's our pleasure. going into last night's debate, political analysts said you in particular needed to throw some punches and made some waves to get your campaign back on track. we heard some of your questions for governor perry. did you accomplish that?

>> i think that the debate last night showed the distinctions between the candidates and what i was trying to do is let people know also what my positive agenda is for moving the economy forward and job creation , in particular with the jobs plan that president obama just put forward. we'll hear more and more of those distinctions.

>> you will talk about jobs in a second, but do i want to stick on this con frtroversy in texas, mandating vaccinations for hpv for girls as young as 12. you not only question the policy, but you questioned the motivation behind it suggesting rather strongly that this could have been an attempt to appease a big drug company , merck, because they contributed to his campaign. so i want you to lay this out for me. is that what you are asserting?

>> well, it's very clear that crony capitalism could have likely been the cause because the governor's former chief of staff was the chief lobbyist for this drug company . this was an issue that could have gone before the legislates you are, but rather than putting it before hearings and before legislature the governor chose by himself, unilaterally, to sign an executive order and put through the requirement that all innocent little 12-year-old girls or 11-year-old girls in the state of texas would be forced by the government to take an injection of what could potentially be a very dangerous drug .

>> do you feel he placed the health and safety of young girls in the state of texas behind or below the need for campaign funds?

>> i will tell you that i had a mother last night come up to me here in tampa, florida, after the debate. she told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter. it can have very dangerous side effects . the mother was crying what she came up to me last night. i didn't know who she was before the debate. this is a very real concern and people have to draw their own conclusions.

>> do you think that you're going to continue to hammer away on this subject? do you think there's traction to be found here?

>> i think that this was traction with a lot of people and we'll see what people say about this, but again, it's drawing a very real distinction that you can't abuse executive authority with executive orders because there could be very negative consequences that the american people have to pay, and again, there is no second chance for these little girls if there are any dangerous consequences to their bodies or for their parents.

>> on the subject of job creation , part of your solution is to cut corporate taxes, kill certain regulations and repeal wall street reform. on the last two there, was there high unemployment before health care reform and wall street reform were ever voted on. why do you think that's so important? where are the jobs there?

>> well, we know from the nonpartisan congressional budget office , their estimate is that over 800,000 jobs will be lost as a result of the government takeover of health care otherwise known as obamacare. that's a very real number , 800,000 jobs lost, and i can verify that when i'm going from business to business to business. job creators tell me that they're holding back on hiring because the cost of obama care are so high. i also talked to a number of people in the financial services industry on the dodd-frank bill and they tell me also they're not hiring because of the dodd-frank bill. in particular banks are telling me they're closing big branch banks and letting people go. these bills aren't without job losses.

>> in just the 15 seconds i have left, when you run for president you promised people a brighter future, so if you were lucky enough to be elected president the unemployment rate right now of 9.1%. what would it stand after a year of a bachmann administration. what can you promise?

>> i can tell you what i would do to bring it down and that, of course, the marketplace would have to prevail, and i would bring in money that's been earned overseas into the united states by having a 0% repatriation tax. there's 1.2 trillion in money that we can wash across the united states tomorrow if we would have the 0% tax rate , and then i want to permanently bring those jobs back to the united states by lowering the tax on job creators. that's the very first step because we need permanent solutions in the private sector, not temporary government fixes.

>> congresswoman michele bachmann . congresswoman bachmann , thanks for your time this morning. i appreciate it.

>> thanks, matt.