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Michele Bachmann admits she has "no idea" if HPV vaccine causes retardation

Michele Bachmann admits that she is not a doctor or scientist.
Michele Bachmann admits that she is not a doctor or scientist.

Michele Bachmann has come full circle on the HPV vaccine, and for the first time since... well, ever, she's admitted total ignorance.

Let's track the arc of Bachmann's wild statements about this vaccine, which "medical doctors" say prevents the spread of "cervical cancer," which "kills" thousands of women each year, or at least that's what they  claim.

First, in Monday's Tea Party debate in Tampa, Florida, Bachmann assailed Rick Perry for his Texas-sized mandate of the HPV vaccine for pre-teen girls. Bachmann very creepily described doctors injecting "innocent little girls," while, we can assume, employees of the TSA and IRS pin the girls down.

Then yesterday, Bachmann doubled down, relaying to America's sweetheart Matt Lauer a story told to her after the debate, in which a Florida Tea Partier claimed the HPV vaccine had caused retardation in her daughter.

Lauer allowed this statement to whiz by without incident, but at the time, Bachmann seemed to stand by the woman's story as true evidence against the vaccine.

"This," Bachmann went on, "is the very real concern, and people have to draw their own conclusions."

To be clear, at this point, Bachmann was no longer advocating against Rick Perry's executive order of the HPV vaccine, but was instead expressing opposition to the vaccine's use at all.

This pissed off the people trying to save kid's lives pretty bad, and yesterday the American Association of Pediatrics was spurred to release a statement condemning Bachmann's continued nuttiness.

"The American Academy of Pediatrics would like to correct false statements made in the Republican presidential campaign that HPV vaccine is dangerous and can cause mental retardation. There is absolutely no scientific validity to this statement. Since the vaccine has been introduced, more than 35 million doses have been administered, and it has an excellent safety record."

Beyond that, even Rush Limbaugh (!) thought Bachmann went too far, saying her statement about vaccines was the moment she "jumped the shark." Limbaugh's lap dog, Sean Hannity, who also loves himself some Bachmann, gently gave Bachmann the chance to walk back her statement.

"Is that one of the side effects of this?" Hannity asked. "Because I've not heard that."

Then came the words we've all been waiting for.

"I have no idea," Bachmann said.

Please, someone cut that short audio clip and put in on a loop for future occasions.

Sean Hannity, always one to offer a sympathetic ear, told Bachmann he'd "not heard" of the vaccine causing retardation.
Sean Hannity, always one to offer a sympathetic ear, told Bachmann he'd "not heard" of the vaccine causing retardation.

Bachmann told the story  again, this time in greater detail, saying the mother was crying as she told Bachmann that after taking the Gardasil vaccine, her daughter was "never the same," and was now mentally retarded.

"I am not a doctor, I'm not a scientist, I'm not a physician," Bachmann said. "All I was doing was reporting what this woman told me last night at the debate, and as a mother, my husband and I have five biological children, three daughters, and we've raised 23 foster children in our home. As a mother, I would not want the federal government or a state government to mandate that my child has to have an injection just because government says so."

Ah, the classic, "I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin', you know?" response.

Still, as far as Bachmann "apologies" go, this is so much better than when she signed that pledge about slavery, and when she "joked" about Hurricane Irene.

Now, while we're on the subject, Michele: Is there anything else you'd like to admit you have "no idea" about?

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