Anita Perry worries HPV debate will hurt immunization rates (audio)

Texas First Lady Anita Perry is in Iowa, campaigning on her husband’s behalf tonight and tomorrow.  During a late afternoon interview with Radio Iowa, Mrs. Perry said the race is “still not settled” and that “we need to spend a lot more time in Iowa.”

Mrs. Perry is the daughter of a physician and a nurse by training, so I asked Mrs. Perry what her thoughts were as she watched her husband field questions about the HPV vaccine.

“I’m very pro-immunization,” she said. “I did not know about the HPV executive order until after it was already done and it was an opt-out which, perhaps if it had been an opt-in that people would have accepted it a little more, but you know it never passed our legislature. It never became law, but I’m very pro-immunization and this is the one reason why and with this particular virus and along with the hep B,  when someone tells me, a college student tells me that she’s going to school on a conservative college campus and four out of her friends have the virus, then that’s disturbing. Also, we’re seeing a rise in young males and I guess you saw that, you know, the CDC has come out now and they’re recommending it for males, too.

“It wasn’t to promote sexual promiscuity at, in any form. To me, I saw it as a way to prevent cancer and Rick, you know, we — nobody wants cancer. Nobody wants their families to get cancer.  He admitted he made a mistake on the way that it was implemented and, like I said, it never became law.

“…I hope it doesn’t, but it may hurt us on our immunization rates and…hep B is transmitted in the same way, and people don’t know that, but they think it’s o.k. to get the…hep (vaccine), but for some reason — you know, he admitted he made a mistake (about the HPV vaccine), he said he was wrong and it never happened.”

Listen to the AUDIO of Anita Perry’s remarks on the HPV debate.

As for the debate about debates, “there are too many of them and it’s hard to meet people when you’re preparing for the debates,” according to Mrs. Perry.  Her advice to her husband? “Be himself. Be authentic. Just be Rick Perry. He’s genuine and so I just think that needs to show a little bit more.”

Mrs. Perry said there is “an exhaustion factor” and a “scheduling factor” influencing the Perry camp’s decision regarding debate participation.  “It gives an opportunity for infighting within the party. It doesn’t look good for the party,” Anita Perry said. “…Yes, it gives you an opportunity, but you don’t have enough time to spend doing what you need to be doing if you’re always debate prepping…I just think it’s overkill.”

The hiring of new advisors is a “natural transition to a campaign that is growing” according to Mrs. Perry.  “We needed a national level, you know, and these are people that Rick had worked with before and we felt very comfortable with,” she said. “I feel great about ’em. I’m excited they’re there and we know what our job is.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. […] has retooled his campaign and will focus more heavily on retail politicking in Iowa. Perry also worried that the exchange between her husband and Bachmann over the human papillomavirus — in which […]