Video: Perry on the defensive at GOP debate

  1. Closed captioning of: Perry on the defensive at GOP debate

    >>> perry found himself on the defensive during last night's fiery gop debate. among those who went after him, congresswoman michele bachmann . we'll talk to her in a moment. chuck todd has the latest.

    >> good morning, savannah. seven of the republican candidates made it clear who their front-runner is. the tea party debate turned into a texas bashfest.

    >> the people who are on social security today need to understand something, slam dunk guaranteed, that program is going to be there in place.

    >> reporter: front-runner rick perry began his second-ever presidential debate trying to reassure seniors his ponzi scheme comments about social security were taken out of context. it has been called a ponzi scheme by many people long before me, but no one's had the courage to stand up and say here is how we're going to reform it.

    >> the question is do you still believe that social security should be ended as a federal program as you did six months ago when your book came out?

    >> i think we ought to have a conversation --

    >> we're having that right now, governor. we're running for president.

    >> i'll finish this conversation.

    >> i think those types of thoughtful conversations with america rather than trying to scare seniors like you're doing and other people, it's time to have a legitimate conversation in this country.

    >> governor, the term ponzi scheme is what scared seniors.

    >> reporter: unlike last week, romney wasn't alone in going after perry . michele bachmann hammered the texas governor for his support of statewide vaccinations against girls 12 and over against causing cervical cancer .

    >> to force 12-year-old little girls to have a government vaccination is flat-out wrong.

    >> at the end of the day this is about trying to stop a cancer.

    >> you may criticize me about the way i went about it, but at the end of the day i am always going to err on the side of life.

    >> reporter: bachmann also questioned whether a campaign contribution from a drug company influenced perry 's decision.

    >> there's a big drug company that made millions of dollars because of this mandate.

    >> the company was merck, and it was a $5,000 contribution that i had received from them. if you're saying that i can be bought for 5,000, i'm offended.

    >> i'm offended for all the little girls and the parents that didn't have a choice. that's why i'm offend, sir.

    >> it didn't get easier for perry when the issue of immigration came up as the crowd let him know that they didn't like the policy to give tuition to mexican immigrants.

    >> no matter how you got in, from the standpoint if your parents brought you there or what have you.

    >> think the american way is not to give taxpayer subsidized benefits to people who have broken our laws or are here in the united states illegally. that is not the american way .

    >> it was that kind of night for perry . it wasn't just from romney and bachmann, santorum jumped in. ron paul hit him. even john huntsman tried, though, a couple of his jokes or barbs fell flat including one that was an odd troefrns kurt cobain . other than that, these guy s gather again next week.

    >> reporter:

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