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After two Republican debates, Texas governor Rick Perry is having some difficulty. Other candidates have attacked Perry for his stance on the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. Perry issued an executive order in 2007 to mandate HPV vaccination for sixth-grade girls in his state.
He allowed parents to opt-out of the order; however, that hasn’t stopped the other GOP candidates from pouncing on the issue. Other Republican voters and pundits have questioned the governor’s character. Craig Robinson, a former Iowa Republican Party official who is now a full-time political blogger, wrote about the problem on his blog, the Iowa Republican.
“What the debate over Perry’s HPV mandate has really done is brought in to question Perry’s character and convictions,” wrote Robinson on his blog. “That is why the HPV issue has gained more traction and attention in recent weeks than Perry’s comments about social security.
Perry may want to put this issue to bed, but by the looks of things, his proposed HPV mandate could haunt him throughout the nominating process.” Perry was defensive during the first two debates but stated his goal was to prevent cancer.
When he first entered the race, Perry stated that he should have provided an opt-in for parents instead of an opt-out. But in both GOP debates over the past week, Perry pointed to the opt-out clause as a positive component of the executive order he signed. “I don’t know what’s more strong for parental rights than having that opt-out,” Perry said at his first debate in Simi Valley, Calif., last week.
Asked directly on Monday night, during his second debate in Tampa, Fla., whether the executive order he signed amounted to a mandate, Perry said it was not — because of the opt-out provision.”No, sir it wasn’t. It was very clear. It had an opt-out,” Perry said. But later in the week, Perry was back to stating that he should have had an opt-in instead of an opt-out.
This proves to be a difficult issue for Perry who, like other Republicans, believes Obama’s health care overhaul is unconstitutional. If Perry can force residents in his state to have a vaccine, then how can making people have health care be unconstitutional?
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