Perry Swipes Back at Bachmann's HPV Allegation Mental retardation claim has 'no basis in fact,' he says By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Sep 15, 2011 2:27 AM CDT 1 comment Comments Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, and 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) (Newser) – Michele Bachmann made waves this week by claiming that the HPV vaccine can cause mental retardation, and now more critics are piling on—one of whom is Rick Perry. Perry, of course, was the target of Bachmann's original statement; she disagrees with the executive order he issued requiring Texas girls to get the vaccine. And as for her story about a mother who claims her daughter "suffered from mental retardation" after getting the vaccine, Perry says, "I think that was a statement that had no truth in it, no basis in fact," Politico reports. Bachmann's former campaign manager, Ed Rollins, who stepped down this month, told MSNBC yesterday that "she made a mistake," Politico notes. "I think the bottom line here is she has made what was a very positive debate and made the issue about Perry to where it's now an issue about her, and she needs to move on." Click for more on Bachmann's original comment.