ABC NEWS has this interesting twist on the convoluted support Rick Perry gave to mandating the vaccine in Texas in 2007. Depending on what you believe, Rick Perry was sincerely motivated in his efforts, or was simply using this unfortunate woman to help out his lobbyist pals at Merck, one of whom named Mike Toomey was Rick Perry's former chief of staff.
Video is from KXAN in Austin.
Although Rick Perry said at a debate on Thursday that he was “lobbied” by a 31-year-old woman suffering from cervical cancer to require young girls to receive the HPV vaccine, he did not meet the cancer patient until after he had already issued his executive order mandating the vaccine.
It was a rhetorical high point for Perry at the debate in Florida, when he put a personal face on the story and pointed to his friendship with a woman who later died of cervical cancer.
“I got lobbied on this issue. I got lobbied by a 31 year old young lady who had stage 4 cervical cancer,” said Perry. “I spent a lot of time with her. She came by my office She talked to me about this program. I readily admitted we should have had an opt-in 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 and I will always err on the side of life as a governor as a president of the United States.”
The woman Rick Perry mentioned in the Republican debate Thursday was Heather Burcham, a thirty one year old woman dying from cervical cancer. But what Perry left out in his answer was that he met her after he issued his executive order.