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Gingrich, Perry deny they seek a joint ticket

Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, left, listens to Texas Gov. Rick Perry answer a question during a Republican presidential candidate debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012. AP Photo/Elise Amendola

(CBS News) Newt Gingrich's spokesman on Sunday dismissed speculation about a potential Gingrich-Rick Perry ticket being announced before the Republican National Convention in August, saying the two camps have not discussed the idea "at any level."

A report by Fox News cited "sources close to the Gingrich campaign" saying preliminary conversations about such a ticket have begun with the hopes that pairing the former Speaker of the House and the Texas governor might unite evangelical, tea party and other conservative voters.

But Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond said no one in the campaign has reached out to Perry's camp about a shared ticket.

"While there's certainly a lot of people who are great admirers of Rick Perry on our campaign. whether or not the campaign has gone as far as to reach out to Governor Perry about a possible VP ticket, any sort of talks along those lines would be premature -- it would be something more appropriate for later on in the process," Hammond told CBS News.

Special Section: Campaign 2012

Catherine Frazier, a spokesman for Perry, also called the speculation "humbling but premature."

The report came just two days before voters in Mississippi and Alabama head to the polls to vote in primaries that are vital to the continuation of Gingrich's campaign. Perry dropped out of the race in January, throwing his support to the former speaker on the same day.

Gingrich frequently references his endorsement on the campaign trail, saying expects to win Texas decisively with his help. But since dropping out, Perry has appeared with Gingrich only once on the campaign trail, when he attended a debate last month in Mesa, Ariz.

Rebecca Kaplan contributed to this report.

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