Host of The Tonight Show Jay Leno put Republican Presidential hopeful Michelle Bachman in the hot seat last Friday, quizzing the notoriously factually challenged Minnesota Congressman over controversial comments made in recent weeks relating to potential side-effects of the HPV vaccine. Ms. Bachman has drawn criticism from the media for repeating an unsubstantiated claim from one of her supporters that the vaccine had caused the woman’s daughter to suffer mental retardation.

The typically affable Leno offered something of an apology to Bachman for an avalanche of stinging barbs made on his show at her expense, remarking, “We have done a million jokes. Hopefully you haven’t been … watching any of them.” But having thanked her for being a good sport, Leno cut right to the controversy in an unusually straight-laced interview, which looked to generate heat on the issues rather than illicit laughs from the audience.

Responding to the host’s charge that there had never been a single confirmed case of mental retardation as a result of the HPV vaccine, despite thirty million people receiving the jab, Bachman attempted to dodge responsibility for the remark. “I wasn’t speaking as a doctor. I wasn’t speaking as a scientist. I was just relating what this woman said,” explained the Congresswoman. Bachman was for some time looking like a strong frontrunner in the race for the Republican 2012 nomination, but has seen her poll numbers drop significantly since Texas Governor Rick Perry entered the race last month.


  • antonioberryman
    antonioberryman on

    I feel like this woman has a lot to say about everything, but lacks the ability to research the facts. I wonder how the rest of the interview was handled.

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