FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
If Rick Perry wants to be president - he needs to start thinking more about what he says before he says it.
The Texas governor has already come under lots of criticism for saying Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's actions are potentially treasonous, and for comparing Social Security to a Ponzi scheme.
At Monday night's debate, he stepped in it again... and this time it may be harder to scrape off the bottom of his shoe.
When Michele Bachmann suggested Perry pushed for the HPV vaccine at the bidding of Pharma giant Merck, Perry reponded, "If you're saying that I can be bought for $5,000, I'm offended."
Here's the problem: Perry didn't finish that sentence... he didn't go on to say that he can't be bought at all. and with voters extremely skeptical of the ties between politicians and big business... this is a comment that could haunt Perry for months to come.
Meanwhile, Perry claimed he received $5,000 from Merck, but that only represented their 2006 contributions. In all, Perry pocketed about $30,000 from Merck, the maker of the HPV vaccine.
Merck has also reportedly given more than 3$380,000 to the Republican governors association, or RGA, since 2006... the year that Perry stepped up his role in that group. One watchdog group estimates the RGA has given Perry's campaigns more than $4 million over the last five years.
A Perry spokesman insists the governor's vaccine decision was based only on women's health concerns, saying "What drove the governor on this issue was protecting life and nothing else."
It's also worth noting that Perry's ties to Merck don't end with a check - his former chief of staff was a lobbyist for Merck before and after he worked for Perry.
Open the window. You can smell this.
Here’s my question to you: Rick Perry says he can't be bought for $5,000. How much will this comment haunt him?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Mark in Oklahoma City:
Jack, Every man (or woman) has their price. At least with Mr. Perry, we now know where to start the bidding.
James in Denver:
It was striking and telling to hear how he put it. In these days, where politicians’ cooperation is so readily purchased by interest groups, in this new land that the Supreme Court has declared to be "of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations," how easily it rolls off the tongue of a slick rascal that he has a price. Mind you, it is a high price!
It definitely serves to show how out-of-touch he is with those of us who are not rich. Not for $5,000, huh? I suppose the going bribery/quid pro quo rate for a sitting GOP governor is quite a bit more.
And how long has he beat his wife? Yes, he could have phrased it better, but it's not the first gaffe by a presidential candidate and it won't be the last.
Brenda in Maryland on Facebook:
I'm a Tea Party member and it's not the Tea Party supporting Perry. It's the media putting him in the spotlight. I've seen numerous polls and believe me, he is not the leader. As for his comment, just another dumb comment by another dumb politician.
Peter in Tarrytown, New York:
It should hurt him a lot. Bachmann should have asked if he couldn't be bought for $5,000, how much does it take?
Susan in Denver:
I'll give him $5,001 to drop out of the race.