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At the GOP debate last Monday, Michelle Bachmann was busy criticizing Texas Gov. Rick Perry during CNN’s Tea Party debate for signing an executive order requiring middle-school girls in his state to get vaccinated against the human papillomavirus.
Bachmann insisted that Perry signed the HPV vaccine legislation into law after receiving a $5,000 campaign contribution from a company called Merck. “Ifyou’re saying I can be bought for $5,000, I’m offended,” Perry said in response.
When she made an appearance on the Tonight Show, Leno took the diplomatic route and inquired, “Is that bad? It's a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer,”
"Well I think so," Bachmann replied. "The concern is that there are potentially side effects that can come with something like that. But it gives a false sense of assurance to a young woman when she has that, that if she's sexually active that she doesn't have to worry about sexually transmitted diseases."
“I'm not sure it's a sense of assurance. It can prevent cervical cancer, correct?" Leno interjected.
"It's something that could potentially have dangerous side effects," Bachmann repeated.
Leno also pressed Bachmann about her views on homosexuality and gay marriage. "That whole 'pray the gay away' thing, I don't get it," Leno put quite simply, referring to the Christian counseling clinic she owns with her husband.
And what did Bachmann come up with? Well, while pointing to her hair, Bachmann went something like this: “When I heard that I really thought it was like kind of a mid-life crisis line, like, 'Pray away the gray.’ The joke didn’t do quite well.
Leno’s shining moment? While discussing the Tea Party's uncompromising position on raising the nation's debt ceiling, Leno said, “If you become president -- and you seem pretty strident in your views,”
Bachmann replied: “Convicted. I’m convicted,”
Leno moved in for the kill: “Convicted? No, you don’t get convicted until after you’re in office. That’s later. You have to get elected first."
Leno almost seemed like serious reporter while he explained his points eloquently and asked her stance on issues, while Bachmann fumbled around for words to answer simple questions.