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Staffers: Govs. Haslam, Christie will not attend Perry/AFA prayer rally

Image has not been found. URL: http://images.americanindependent.com/2010/08/MahurinElephant_Thumb.jpgWhile Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback remains the only governor to accept his invitation to The Response – an all-day prayer and fasting rally hosted by Gov. Rick Perry and the controversial American Family Association – other state leaders are forgoing the event, citing scheduling conflicts or unspecified reasons.

As of today, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will not be attending the Aug. 6 prayer rally. A Haslam staffer said the Tennessee governor is tied up with a prior commitment, whereas Christie’s press secretary Michael Drewniak said the New Jersey governor receives several invitations that are declined for various reasons and refrained from elaborating on why Christie will not attend.

“We don’t need to get into it,” Drewniak said.

Christie, who hails from a state with a registered AFA branch, made headlines earlier this year for refusing to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference, providing a similar statement for skipping that event. Christie and South Carolina Republican Jim DeMint both declined invitations following an AFA, Heritage Foundation and the Family Research Council boycott of the convention due to the involvement by GOProud, a gay Republican group. A GOProud co-founder told MSNBC that DeMint likely declined because of the group’s participation, but refuted the notion Christie turned down CPAC as a result of the LGBT organization.

The Texas Independent previously reported Haley Barbour, the governor of AFA’s home state of Mississippi, has received an invitation to The Response, but has yet to finalize his August schedule. And according to Politico, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has declined the invitation from Perry, who chairs the Republican Governors Association.

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