Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) tried to put the HPV vaccine issue to bed in Thursday's GOP presidential debate, and to refocus the conversation on Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R).
"Gov. Perry made a decision where he gave gave parental rights to a big drug company. That big drug company gave him big campaign contributions," Bachmann said.
Perry had a quick and seemingly practiced response that attempted to bring the conversation back to his socially conservative bona fides.
"I got lobbied on this issue. I got lobbied by a 31-year-old young lady who had Stage 4 cervical cancer," a condition that can result from the HPV virus, Perry said. "I've readily admitted we should have had an opt-in in this program, but I don't know what part of opt-out most parents don't get. And the fact is, I erred on the side of life."
The HPV vaccine issue has plagued Bachmann's campaign since the last debate, on Sept. 12. Bachmann called out Perry for an executive order mandating that teenage girls receive the vaccine, which Bachmann said benefited a campaign donor and lobbyists in the process.
It was a well-received jolt of energy for her struggling campaign, but immediately after the debate, Bachmann repeated a mother's story about her daughter becoming mentally retarded from the vaccine, which medical experts have subsequently debunked.