During the CNN Tea Party Express debate Monday, Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann went after fellow candidate Rick Perry for taking campaign contributions from Merck, a company that sells the HPV vaccines that he had, as the governor of Texas, tried to mandate for all young girls in the state.

“In the midst of this executive order, there was a big drug company that made millions of dollars because of this mandate,” Bachmann charged. “What I’m saying is that it’s wrong for a drug company, because the governor’s former chief of staff was the chief lobbyist for this drug company, the drug company gave thousands of dollars in political donations to the governor, and this is just flat-out wrong. The question is is it about life or was it about millions of dollars and potentially billions for a drug company?”

“The company was Merck, and it was a $5,000 contribution that I had received from them,” Perry countered. “If you’re saying that I can be bought for $5,000, I’m offended.”

“Well, I’m offended for all the little girls and the parents that didn’t have a choice. That’s what I’m offended for,” Bachmann shot back.

Watch this video from CNN’s Tea Party Debate, broadcast Sept. 12, 2011.


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