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Video: Rick Perry "taken aback" by death jeers, downplays vaccine hype, talks immigration

We caught up with Texas Gov. Rick Perry this morning in Tampa and asked a few questions about immigration, the controversy over the HPV vaccine and the crowd members who cheered at the idea of letting someone die in a coma. He also gave a shout-out to his buddy, Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Perry's comments on the HPV vaccine came after Michele Bachmann this morning told a radio show that a woman came up to her after the debate and said her child was made retarded by the Gardasil shot. Perry dismissed that as a side-effect of the vaccine.

"You heard the same arguments about giving our children protections from childhood diseases and that autism was part of it. Now we’ve subsequently found out that that was all generated and not true," he said. "I would suggest to you that this issue about Gardasil and making it available was about saving people’s lives. I sat on the side of a bed of a young lady in Texas who died from cervical cancer. It had a powerful impact on me. We gave parents the right to opt out. The Legislature disagreed with the way we did it. I work for the people, not the other way around…. At the end of the day, saving people’s lives and making vaccines available that can save lives is the important thing…"

What did he think about the cheers from a crowd member or two about euthanizing a person in a coma? Was he

Perry: "I was a bit taken back by that myself. The fact is, we’re the party of life. We ought to be coming up with ways to save lives. Now, when it comes to the issue of justice and the issue of dispensing the death penalty, state-by-state the states ought to be able to decide that issue. In the state of Texas, we respect the rule of law. And when people kill our children, kill our police officers, they’re going to be eligible by a jury of their peers to make a decision on whether the death penalty in that case will be appropriate or not…."