House Majority Leader Eric Cantor abruptly canceled a speech Friday at the University of Pennsylvania that had become the target of Occupy Philly and other groups. Hundreds of protesters gathered at Penn nonetheless, carrying signs and shouting slogans.
Cantor (R., Va.) was scheduled to speak at Penn’s Wharton School at 4:30 p.m. but backed out earlier in the afternoon, indicating that it had been his understanding the speech would be open only to people affiliated with the university.
In a statement, his office said it “was informed last night by Capitol Police that the University of Pennsylvania was unable to ensure that the attendance policy previously agreed to could be met.”
The university in turn issued a statement saying it “deeply regrets” that Cantor canceled and suggesting that there had been no change in the attendance policy.
“The Wharton speaker series is typically open to the general public, and that is how the event with Majority Leader Cantor was billed. We very much regret if there was any misunderstanding with the majority leader’s office on the staging of his presentation,” the university said.