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“I’m always going to err on the side of life,” he said, establishing a terrifying new standard for government intrusion into the most private areas of our private lives. And at the same time cynically twisting one of the most sacred arguments in the conservative firmament: choosing “life” over abortion.

Mrs. Bachmann went in for the kill to point out that the lobbyist for the drug company benefiting the most from the vaccination requirement was none other than Mr. Perry’s former chief of staff.

Mr. Perry ignored that Texas-sized conflict and instead chose to focus on a paltry campaign contribution he had taken from the drug company.

“If you’re saying that I can be bought for $5,000 … ” he said, struggling to find the biggest, baddest consequence he could muster before limping off with, “I’m offended!”

Luckily for him, he didn’t fan himself or faint as he said it. It was a sad moment for the wannabe cowboy, but probably a necessary one.

Now it’s back to the next None-of-the-Above candidate. Anyone seen Sarah Palin? Has Chris Christie found a treadmill that can support him yet?

Charles Hurt’s column appears Wednesday. He can be reached at