Bachmann says vaccine retardation claim not hers

By Thomas Beaumont

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Sept. 19 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

Republican presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., speaks during a plant tour at Sukup Manufacturing, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011, in Sheffield.

Charlie Neibergall, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

WATERLOO, Iowa — Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann says she was not linking a vaccine aimed at preventing cancer to mental retardation when she repeated a woman's claim that the vaccine had caused her daughter's retardation.

Campaigning in Iowa on Monday, the Minnesota congresswoman tells The Associated Press that she was relaying a mother's story when she said a vaccine ordered by a rival candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, had "dangerous consequences."

Bachmann says, in her words, "All I was doing is relaying what a woman said."

Medical experts have criticized Bachmann for the comments and say there is no link between the vaccination and mental retardation.

She has criticized Perry for signing an executive order requiring school-age girls to receive vaccinations for a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cancer.

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