Was Michele Bachmann blindsided by Jay Leno?
"She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter," Bachmann said on the Today show.
"But it's a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer," said Leno.
"But it's, again, it's something that could potentially have dangerous side effects," said Bachmann.
The Republican presidential candidate told Chicago's WLS radio she was "surprised" by Leno's aggressive questioning during her appearance on The Tonight Show.
"I was very surprised because we had had a pre-show interview and that wasn't at all what I was told we were going to be talking about. So I was very surprised," she said.
The New York Times says Bachmann's remark "could ripple for years," and could discourage young girls from being vaccinated.
"Well I wasn't speaking as a doctor, I wasn't speaking as a scientist, I was just relating what this woman said," Bachmann told Leno.
Meanwhile, president Obama is facing criticism from a new book, Confidence Men, by Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind, that the women in the White House were frozen out by an all-boys club atmosphere.
One staffer quoted in the book says: "This place would be in court for a hostile work place...because it actually fit all of the classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace to women."
Suskind defended himself on the Today show
"There are inaccuracies in your book," said anchor Ann Curry.
"This is a 500-page book. The fact of the matter is everything in the book is solid as a brick," said Suskind.
According to Suskind's book, some top women in the administration complained men enjoyed greater access to the president than they did.