The Corner

Palin on Perry’s Vaccination Executive Order: ‘That’s Crony Capitalism’

In an interview last night, Sarah Palin backed up Michele Bachmann’s charge that Rick Perry’s decision to sign an executive order mandating sixth grade girls to get the HPV vaccine appeared to be an example of “crony capitalism.”

“That someone, as Michele Bachmann pointed out, was Governor Perry’s former chief of staff, who then went to work for a drug company who made the drug that would be required of the Texan government to mandate that, that our young daughters would have to be inoculated against potential disease from the company that his former chief of staff was lobbying for. That’s crony capitalism,” Palin told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren last night.

“That’s part of the problem that we have in this country, is that people are afraid, even within our own party, to call one another out on that,” Palin added. “True reform and fighting the corruption and fighting the crony capitalism is a tough thing to do within your own party. You have to go up against the big guns. And they will try to destroy you when you call them out on the mistakes that they have made.”

Palin said Bachmann would possibly “get crucified” by some Republicans who would see her charges of crony capitalism as violating Reagan’s 11th commandment. Emphasizing that restoring trust in federal government depended on eliminating “back door dealings,” she praised Bachmann’s efforts.

“How are we ever going to reform the system and be able to restore what’s good and fair and right about America unless we do hold one another accountable? That’s what Michele was trying to do,” Palin said.

Palin also stressed she was opposed to the vaccine itself, not just Perry’s decision to mandate it by executive order.

“Remember when the media went a little bit crazy and demanded to see my 25,000 e-mails that I had written during my term as governor. In those e-mails, there is proof of there that the issue arose while I was governor of Alaska. And the e-mails reflect my — my principle there was, No, government, stay out of the lives of family decisions like that, and do not tell a parent that their daughter must be immunized,” Palin said. She was referring to a 2008 e-mail where she wrote, “I would not propose govt mandating anything like shots for our kids.”

Speaking about her reaction at the time, Palin indicated she had been startled by Perry’s decision to push for the vaccine mandate.

“And there had to have been something to that whole issue because it just didn’t sound like Governor Perry,” she recalled. “Governor Perry was, you know, the proverbial anti-government type of maverick there in Texas, and yet on this issue, he decided that he was going to know better than a parent was going to know in terms of what the health care or health benefit would be for their teenage daughters. So I knew there was something to it.”

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Katrina TrinkoKatrina 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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