After taking heat from critics for suggesting the HPV vaccine is linked to "mental retardation," presidential candidate Michele Bachmann defended her comments to reporters in San Francisco Thursday.
"During the debate, 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. I didn't make any statements about that," she said.
In an interview on Fox News after Monday's debate, Bachmann told anchor Greta Van Susteren, "There's a woman who came up crying to me tonight after the debate. She said her daughter was given that vaccine. She told me her daughter suffered mental retardation as a result of that vaccine. There are very dangerous consequences. It's not okay to take, quote, a mulligan, where you want a do-over, not when you have little children's lives at risk." She repeated the anecdote during another television interview the next morning.
in San Francisco, Bachmann declined to answer a question as to whether she would apologize for her remarks on HPV.
"I think if you look at the debate, my point was very clear, and it's the fact that there was an abuse of power of executive authority which the governor of Texas admitted he did make a mistake. And also, the second question after that is the idea of crony capitalism -- the idea of donors giving money and also favors from the executive. This is something that is not good. The American people don't like it and it's a real issue."