Politics & Policy

Santorum on Perry’s HPV Vaccine Mandate: ‘Something I’d Expect From Barack Obama’

Rick Santorum sharply attacked Rick Perry’s record in an interview with PoliticsPA:

 

Santorum gave a laundry list of criticism about Perry’s record in Texas, staring with the Governor’s support of the pro-immigrant DREAM Act. Santorum also blasted Perry for supporting Al Gore for President in 2000 (“I can’t imagine any point in time in my life that I would think of supporting Al Gore for anything”), and Rudy Giuliani early in the 2008 primary (“He was supporting a pro-gay marriage, pro-choice, pro-bigger government Mayor of New York”).

He saved his strongest language for Perry’s controversial 2007 executive order mandate that Texas girls receive a vaccine for the sexually transmitted disease HPV.

“To require it, and have parents have to be aware of it and have to opt out, that is the heavy hand of government,” Santorum thundered. “That is something I’d expect from Barack Obama, not someone who says they’re a conservative.”

Perry since backed away from the policy – which was overturned by the Texas legislature – after it emerged that one of his campaign contributors had lobbied in favor of the rule.

A couple of notes here: the DREAM Act Perry supported was on the state level. (He has said he does not support a national version of the DREAM Act.) And when Perry supported Al Gore, that wasn’t in 2000, but  in 1988, when Perry was still a Democrat. That being said, Santorum may be the first of the candidates to bring up these attacks, but he almost certainly won’t be the last. 

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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