Rick Perry wants to be president of the United States, and in order for that to happen, he must not only gain the votes of independents, but also the votes of the Religious conservative base. That’s why last Saturday Perry led a “Prayer Session”, pandering to this sect. Turns out though, that there was morepandering needed to win over the this group, so admitting that he made a major mistake in Texas, was as good a place as any to start.
The mistake Perry is now regretting, was a mandate he set up in 2007, requiring all sixth grade girls in Texas to get the HPV vaccine. HPV — Human Papillomavirus — is the cause of, among other things, cervical cancer. Although this decision to have girls be vaccinated seemed like a good idea, conservatives have been getting down on Perry for making this decision. They claim this mandate is “too much government involvement.” At the time of his decision, Perry explained it this way;
“I understand some of the concern some of my good friends have about requiring this vaccine, which is why parents can opt out if they so choose. But I refuse to look a young woman in the eye 10 years from now who suffers from this form of cancer and tell her we could have stopped it, but we didn’t.”
“Others may focus on the cause of this cancer, but I am going to stay focused on the cure. And if I err, I’m going to err on the side of protecting life.”
That was his decision in 2007. The issue even followed him up to the 2010 Texas election, when his Republican primary rival Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, said this in an interview;
“[Perry] mandates 12-year-old girls to be vaccinated with an executive order for heaven’s sakes. “Didn’t even ask; didn’t even ask for an expert opinion; didn’t even ask the legislature for their approval. That is dictatorial.”
Now, realizing he’s on the national stage, Perry feels the need to flip-flop and explained his decision as “a mistake.” This is his new position, as he explained Saturday in New Hampshire;
“The fact of the matter is, I didn’t do my research well enough to understand that we needed to have a substantial conversation with our citizenry.”
It should also be noted that the drug Perry was mandating for the HPV vaccine, was made by Merck. Perry’s former chief of staff was a top lobbyist in Texas for Merck.
Call him a flip-flopper, call him a panderer. Just don’t call him a man of conviction.