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Michele Bachmann stands firm on her vaccine comments. As firm as someone who “has no idea” can be.

Posted Sep 16 2011 8:56pm

Some people never back down from a fight. It sounds strong, but in reality many of these people are fools. Never back down from a fight? There are times when a person is in a bad position, often of his/her own making, and it would be better for all to cut one’s losses.

Sure there are many examples of people unwilling to back down from a fight in the autism/vaccine discussion which we could point to. For today, let’s consider a relative newcomer as our case in point: Michele Bachmann, United States presidential candidate. Recently she made comments about the HPV vaccine. She gave a story of the HPV vaccine resulting in mental retardation.

Here’s the video of her speaking on the HPV vaccine.

“Could potentially be a very dangerous drug”

“It can have very dangerous side effects”

“There is no second chance for these little girls if there is any dangerous consequences for their bodies”

Ms. Bachmann held a fund raiser in the San Francisco bay area recently. One attendee wrote about the even in the San Francisco Chronicle Politics blog, an article GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann refuses to back down on HPV, slams Solyndra (VIDEO)

Ms. Bachmann is quoted:

On Thursday, Bachmann maintained she was making no claims regarding the drug this week, and that she was merely trying to underscore “an abuse of power” by Texas Gov. Rick Perry in mandating the vaccine for girls in his state.

“I didn’t make any statements that would indicate I’m a doctor, I’m a scientist, or making any conclusions about the drug one way or the other,” she said, adding she was merely relating the concerns of a woman who was “very distraught” and who supported her view that Perry’s actions were wrong.

Not a doctor, not a scientist. Where have I heard that before?

As to the rest of the statement all I can say is, really? And, not good enough. She made some strong statements. Is “”Could potentially be a very dangerous drug”” consistent with “not one way or the other”?

Here’s another video of her defending her statement, Video: Bachmann Asserts Right to Talk Nonsense About Vaccines :

She points out that Rick Perry admitted making a mistake. Like this is a bad thing. This is a time for her to follow his example.

She won’t even answer the question of whether she will apologize for the remark. Come on. Take a stance. Either you made a mistake or you didn’t. Either apologize or tell us that you won’t.

In short: Lead. You are running for president. Show leadership.

In a later story, from Yahoo News, Ms. Bachman adds a qualifier to her “I’m not a doctor…” statement: Bachmann: ‘I have no idea’ if HPV vaccine causes mental retardation

Yes, she “has no idea”.

“I have no idea,” Bachmann said, before repeating the story about the woman. “I am not a doctor. I am not a scientist. I am not a physician. All I was doing was reporting what a woman told me last night at the debate.”

I think the words she is looking for are, “I’m sorry” and “I made a mistake”. That would be leadership. Own your mistakes. Learn from the people in the vaccines-cause-autism camp. Well, learn from their mistakes. A big mistake you can learn from: don’t hang on to disproved ideas that are really out of your area of expertise. When you are shown to be wrong, admit it and move on.

  1. AutismNewsBeat:
    The only way Bachmann will admit she was wrong is if this story carries into next week's news cycle. I'm disappointed that NBC Nightly News didn't stay with the story after Dr. Snyderman weighed in.

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