Bachmann: Gov. Perry Engaged in 'Crony Capitalism'

September 13, 2011 - 7:30 AM
Republicans Debate

Republican presidential candidates, from left, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry cover their hearts during the playing of the National Anthem before a Republican presidential debate Monday, Sept. 12, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Michele Bachmann is accusing Republican presidential rival Rick Perry of engaging in "crony capitalism" in ordering an STD vaccine for schoolgirls.

Bachmann says in a broadcast interview she will keep hammering away at the Texas governor over an executive order he signed making vaccinations against potentially cancer-causing infections mandatory for young girls. The state legislature overturned Perry's decision.

Bachmann tells NBC's "Today" show "it's very clear that crony capitalism could likely have been the cause" of Perry's executive order mandating the shots, saying his former chief of staff was a lobbyist for Merck, the pharmaceutical company that produced the vaccine.

Perry says he made a mistake in doing it by executive order. But he also tells his rivals he will continue to "err on the side of life."