Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)
( Glen Stubbe / Minneapolis Star Tribune / MCT / September 12, 2012 )
Contributing to an unscientific and potentially dangerous hysteria about the vaccine against the human papillomavirus, Bachmann recounted on NBC's "Today" show last year that she had met a Florida woman who told her that her daughter had suffered mental retardation after receiving the vaccine. "There is no second chance for these little girls if there is any dangerous consequences to their bodies," she said. Her comments were met with widespread condemnation from the medical community, which pointed out that there was no documented case of a mental disorder stemming from the vaccine. Despite withering criticism that her comments would discourage parents from immunizing their daughters against a virus that can lead to cervical cancer, the then-GOP presidential hopeful refused to apologize and reiterated her view that parents should be cautious.
Above: Bachmann on Aug. 26 addresses the Tea Party Unity Rally in the River Church of Tampa, Fla.