Our friends at the Washington Post report, there’s that smell again:
Religious conservatives in Texas were stunned in 2007 when Republican Rick Perry became the first governor in the country to order young girls to get a vaccine against a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer.
The vaccine would encourage promiscuity, according to many conservatives, who had long supported Perry’s views against abortion and same-sex marriage.
It soon emerged that Perry was close to one of the lobbyists who was pushing for the order and who worked for the vaccine’s New Jersey-based manufacturer. That lobbyist, Mike Toomey, had served as Perry’s chief of staff and has since helped found a super PAC aimed at boosting Perry’s bid for the presidency.
Now Perry, who long defended the vaccine mandate, has reversed his position on the issue as he launches his GOP presidential bid, calling the order “a mistake” and saying he agrees with the Texas legislature’s decision to overturn it…
This story has a little of everything: a decision that horrified social conservatives so vital to any GOP primary campaign, ties to lobbyists that undermine Gov. Rick Perry’s moral standing–and above all, furious backpedaling we’ve seen over and over in the last few years as Republicans try to shore up their hard-core base at the expense of the rest of the electorate. The crushing need to out-radical primary opponents, to the laughable extremes we saw in 2010 and are beginning to witness in the 2012 cycle, is becoming a perennial fixture in GOP politics.
There’s another phase of “Buckpedaling” for Perry, assuming he wins, when he tries to take these primary lurches to the right back–reclaiming moderate credentials for the general election.
Everybody remembers how well that worked out for Ken Buck, right?