Washington (CNN) - House Republican leaders haven't endorsed any of the GOP candidates for president, but they've invited one of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's high profile surrogates - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie - to address their annual retreat in Baltimore on Friday, according to two senior House GOP aides.
Christie is not only a popular national figure, but he's been a close political ally of House Republicans. He helped them raise money as the headliner for the annual fundraiser last spring in Washington for the House GOP's campaign committee, which took in $10 million for House races.
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The three day meeting in Baltimore this week will focus on legislative and political strategy for 2012, so the presidential campaign –and how the House GOP deals with President Barack Obama's strategy to campaign against the Republican led House of Representatives– will undoubtedly be a topic of conversation.
House Speaker John Boehner and other top House GOP leaders have deliberately avoided weighing in on the Republican 2012 race, in part because they didn't want to comment on bids by their House colleagues – Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul is competing for the nomination, and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann sought the top spot on the GOP ticket, but dropped out after her poor showing in the Iowa caucuses. Paul is campaigning in South Carolina this week and is unlikely to attend the Baltimore session.
Politico first reported Monday that Christie would attend the GOP retreat.
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