Portsmouth, New Hampshire (CNN) - A group of un-aligned New Hampshire Republican officials plan a Thursday press conference to defend a much-derided speech given by Texas Gov. Rick Perry late last week, CNN has learned.
Two-time Congressional candidate Jennifer Horn of We the People, which has organized a series of forums with presidential candidates including Perry, will speak at the press conference, she told CNN Wednesday.
State House Speaker Bill O'Brien will also participate, Horn said.
The event comes in response to media attention following Perry's keynote speech to the Cornerstone Action annual dinner Friday in Manchester, N.H. An edited clip reel of Perry's speech - which struck some as being overly enthusiastic - has circulated on social media and cable news.
Thursday's speakers have not endorsed Perry, but they feel coverage of the speech has become a distraction from serious issues on the trail, Horn said.
The speakers attended the event last Friday.
"We're in the middle of a really important presidential primary and there's no place for this sort of stuff," Horn said. "This is part of protecting the integrity of the primary process."
The edited clips of Perry show him joking with the audience.
Horn batted down rumors that Perry might have been under the influence.
"There was nothing about his behavior on the stage or off the stage to suggest he was under the influence," she said.
The press conference will take place at 2 p.m. ET in Manchester, Horn said.
Some individuals who were at the event have already spoken up separately on Perry's behalf.
Kevin Smith, who organized the event for Cornerstone, said Perry was well-received by the audience.
"They saw a side of him they hadn't seen yet," he said. "It was very relaxed and very loose, and they seemed to warm up to him pretty quickly."
Smith said some of the audience members have been surprised by the media's reactions to the speech.
"People saw a different side of Rick Perry that the haven't seen before," he said.