Washington (CNN) – Presidential candidate Herman Cain will receive protection from the United States Secret Service, the agency confirms to CNN.
Cain asked for and is getting Secret Service protection because he has gotten an unspecified number of threats, sources inside the government told CNN on Friday.
Cain is the first Republican candidate in the 2012 election cycle to be placed under the protection of the federal law enforcement agency.
Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan confirmed that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano authorized Cain's protection after consultation with an advisory committee that consists of congressional leadership.
Donovan told CNN that the Cain campaign requested coverage, and the review found that it met the criteria.
Cain Campaign Spokesman J.D. Gordon confirmed that the Secret Service is providing additional security for the candidate.
"We are appreciative of the extra level of protection provided by these elite professionals," Gordon said.
While early, it is not unprecedented for the Secret Service to take over the security of a presidential candidate. In May 2007, then-Sen. Barack Obama, who was running for the Democratic nomination, was placed under Secret Service protection. It was the earliest a candidate for president had received protection from this law enforcement agency. At the time, another Democratic candidate, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, was already under Secret Service protection because she was a former first lady.
Usually, the Secret Service begins protecting "major" candidates designated by an advisory committee, which consists of the congressional leadership, four months before the general election, according to guidelines outlined on the agency's website.
The Secret Service began protecting the president after President William McKinley was assassinated in the fall of 1901. The agency extended its protection to major presidential candidates following the assassination of Robert Kennedy in 1968.
I'm guessing he was threatened. If so, he certainly deserves protection right away.
Would it not serve our country and debt crisis better, if he just got off the stage?
Well that will help him sell a lot of books.
I understand why a major presidential candidates need Secret Service protection but considering how Republicans keep talking about "government spending"... It seems to me that his wealthy self can afford security out of his pocket...
The guy is a multi millionaire! Why are we the tax payers paying for his protection!?! No one is making him run for president. He can buy his own protection if he thinks he needs it. Lets Plus this guy already thinks he's all that, now he's going to act like he IS the president. NO, NO, NO! Just like his tax plan.
I want secret service protection too!
We need to cutting spending let start with not spending tax payer money to protect candidate, specially ones that are not going to win.
This is republican hype at it's finest!
Well since he's a so called "conservative" and a republican, it doesn't have anything to do with the color of his skin this time around.
Seriously, THIS is where our tax dollars are going now? Outrageous.
I support the idea that he needs the secret security to avoid unforseen contigencies•
I like how they leave out the reason for it.
The Secret Service should be protecting US from HIM.
Maybe they should be protecting his victims instead.....
There is soo much hatred for people of color that they are always the target of assisination. It's soo sad!
Cain should turn down the secret service protection on the grounds that it is costing us the TAXPAYERS money to protect someone who hasn't been elected to anything. If he wants protection he can get a body guard and pay for it himself. Or if he wants the protection he should be required to pay it back if his bid to be elected fails.
Maybe the secret service should spend more time guarding the white house!!!
good, but president needs thorough security....after WH incident...o.k, Nation needs him now...
My reaction to this story is that Mr. Cain wants another layer of warm bodies to fend of reporters who ask questions he either can not answer because he is uninformed on the subject or does not want to answer period. I remember him saying early on in his campaign that he always welcomes the "tough questions". Now I think he is having a change of heart. Lately it seems he is most anxious to duck out of the room when asked tough questions. I can see him being wisked away by the secret service to his waiting car.
Why aren't candidates required to pay for their own protection, out of their campaign budget?