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Posted at 05:29 PM ET, 12/06/2011

Rick Perry to hold Capitol Hill event, closed to press


(Patrick Semansky - AP)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday will become the latest GOP presidential contender to address the Congressional Health Care Caucus.

But unlike several of his presidential primary rivals, Perry won’t be speaking in front of reporters.

Perry’s campaign has asked that Wednesday’s event be closed to the press, according to Congressional Health Care Caucus Chairman Michael Burgess (R-Texas).

“They have asked that it be closed to the press, and we are respecting their wishes,” Burgess told reporters at the Capitol Tuesday night. The event is scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday in the Cannon House Office Building.

Several of Perry’s rivals for the GOP presidential nod have already addressed the group this year, including former House speaker Newt Gingrich in March,and businessman Herman Cain and Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) last month. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R), who had been mulling a presidential bid, addressed the group in April.

All of those events were open to the press and were also streamed live online.

Asked whether video of Wednesday’s meeting might be broadcast on the Web, Burgess responded, “I don’t know if they’ll let me do that; I’ll try to.”

The event comes on the heels of a series of stumbles by Perry on the campaign trail, including an “oops” moment at a debate last month and an instance last week in New Hampshire when he misstated both the U.S. voting age and the date of the 2012 election.

Perry also has frequently lambasted Congress on the trail and last month called for cutting lawmakers’ salaries and curtailing the amount of time they spend in Washington.

We have reached out for comment to Perry’s campaign, and will add any response.

According to a list maintained by Roll Call, Perry has secured the support of 13 House Republicans, eight of whom are members of the Texas delegation.

By  |  05:29 PM ET, 12/06/2011

 
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