As has been noted below, Rick Perry performed well in tonight's debate until the subject of HPV inoculations for school girls came up. The other candidates, sensing that Perry was vulnerable on this topic, piled on. "To have innocent little 12-year old girls be forced to have a government injection through an executive order is just flat out wrong," Michele Bachmann interjected down the stage from Perry. From that point on in the debate, Perry never quite recovered, signaling to his opponents an opening for attack.
One such attack just arrived in my e-mail inbox from Michele Bachmann. Subject line: "I'm Offended"
Dear Fellow Conservative,
If you watched tonight's Republican debate, you saw Rick Perry defend his decision to mandate a vaccine for young girls through an executive order while he was governor of Texas. As a mother, I have raised three biological daughters and 23 foster daughters, and I believe taking away a parents right to direct the health care of their children is flat out wrong . It’s a violation of liberty and everything you and I stand for.
Tonight, I also questioned why Governor Perry made this executive order. When you look at the facts, the question becomes, is this about life or is this about millions and potentially billions for the drug company?
We cannot forget that in the midst of the executive order, a big drug company made millions of dollars because of this mandate. This drug company's PAC made thousands of dollars in political donations to Governor Perry, and his own former Chief of Staff was working as the lobbyist for this drug company when he issued the mandate. This is flat out wrong.
Governor Perry says if given the option again he would not issue the mandate. However, as President of the United States there are no mulligans; there are no do-overs.
Congresswoman Bachmann is right -- as President of the United States, there are no do-overs. But that's why we prize executive experience in our candidates so much. A humble executive will have known successes, made mistakes, and learned by trial and error. In theory, that's what makes for a better chief executive.
I'm satisfied with Gov. Perry's admission that his executive order to force inoculations was wrong. But I suspect that we haven't heard the last word on this.