Santorum unsure whether he requested Secret Service
February 16th, 2012
12:09 AM ET
3 years ago

Santorum unsure whether he requested Secret Service

Fargo, North Dakota (CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum told CNN Wednesday that he "doesn't really know" whether his campaign has put in a formal request for U.S. Secret Service protection.

"I don't really know the answer to that," Santorum told CNN when asked whether he had formally put in a request. "All I know is it's been an internal discussion and we've been talking to them about whether this is something - whether it's something we should do or not. But I don't know if we've made a formal ask."

He added the the discussions have revolved around only "whether this is something that is appropriate or not."

"I mean there's certain benchmarks and parameters to whether you can even qualify."

He said the conversation began "because of some events that have happened" on the trail.

It was not immediately clear whether he was referring to an incident from Monday evening where three members of the Occupy movement were arrested during a disruptive protest at an outdoor rally in Tacoma, Washington.

A source close to the senator said a lawyer for the campaign wrote a letter to the Department of Homeland Security requesting protection. The letter was sent without Santorum's knowledge.

Earlier Wednesday, a Secret Service spokesman would not comment on the issue when asked by CNN.

"We don't discuss deliberations or assessments" regarding providing protection, Edwin Donovan said.

Standard procedure, Donovan said, would require a campaign reaching out to the Department of Homeland Security with a request. Secretary Janet Napolitano then would consult with an advisory committee.

DHS is referring all questions regarding the matter to the Secret Service.

Santorum's comments came the day after ABC News first reported that the former Pennsylvania senator was in discussions to receive the protection.

Santorum rival Mitt Romney is the only GOP presidential candidate currently receiving Secret Service protection.

– CNN's Carol Cratty contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. george of the jungle

    If he can't figure out this one how does he expect to govern?? Not a diffacult question but the he doesnt believe in global warming and evelution really has him stumped.

    February 16, 2012 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  2. enuff

    How can someone say they are responsible enough to hold the office of the presidency when they don't even know what is going on in his own specialized group?

    February 16, 2012 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  3. mark

    Headline id unfair and biased. He answered he did.'t know if campaign had made formal request. Headline suggests he does not know if he personally requested protection.

    February 16, 2012 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  4. neverquit

    Santorum gets some glitter on him and now ponders burdening the US government and US taxpayer to "protect" him? The hypocrisy never fails to astound – a self-proclaimed "deeply religious man" lambasting government services for the poor while asking for expensive government security handouts because he alone thinks he will amount to more than a footnote in American politics. Where's the faith in God and belief in God's will, Santorum?

    February 16, 2012 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  5. Shelby

    Santorum says he cannot remember such a significant issue as this regarding his quest for the presidency?! He is either lying or he is mentally unfit to be our leader. Either way, I'm trusting Santorum less and less with each passing day.

    February 16, 2012 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  6. USA

    Protect Him. : )

    February 16, 2012 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  7. NoTags

    Until one of these jerks is the Republican Party nominee, none of them should be provided secret service protection paid for by our tax dollars. If any of them believe they need protection, let them pay for it from private contractors with their campaign funds.

    February 16, 2012 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  8. ms

    He's probably afraid of being attacked by women :)

    February 16, 2012 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  9. ARTRaveler

    You don't know whether YOUR campaign has asked for Secret Service protection? Just who is running your campaign? Are you in charge of YOUR operation or just fronting for the Catholic bishops in their efforts to force their ideas on everyone in the country?

    February 16, 2012 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Well, what are the guide lines? I'd like to know. Is anyone going to reveal that?

    February 16, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  11. Anonymous

    Thank god our flaccid field of failed clown car candidates can now rest easy knowing they are protected from glitter bombs!

    February 16, 2012 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  12. GI Joe.

    That's not all he doesn't know.

    What a JERK.

    February 16, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  13. GI Joe.

    He's afraid of us? WE'RE afraid of his radical ways. I want protection from Frothy.

    February 16, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    But I don't know if we've made a formal ask."
    ------------------------
    Speak english much?
    To request Secret Service protection because three members of OWS showed up at one of your "rallies" is ridiculous.
    This sounds like another pathetic ploy for attention, right up there with your "my taxes will be forthcoming".
    You are too irrelevant to threaten. Now that's pathetic.
    Obama 2012.

    February 16, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  15. Whisper To A Scream

    Must be scared of all that glitters.

    February 16, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  16. Marry

    Whenever you hear Santorum talk, he always is UNSURE of whose intelligence to insult next or what to do! No plan, besides spreading nonsense! This "candidate" makes the stomach turn!

    February 16, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  17. Sadie Boyd

    Put him in a Pope Mobile!

    February 16, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  18. Curt

    Know that we know he's a millionaire and his campaign has lots of money, why should the taxpayers have to pay for his security ? Guess republicans only want to make cuts where he won't affect them.

    February 16, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  19. livingston

    Oh come on now! Is he seriously trying to say that he doesn't know if he has requested Secret Service protection? He doesn't know what his staff is even doing on his behalf?
    He is either –
    1) So far out in lala land that he doesn't know what is going on around him.
    2) So bought and paid for that they haven't told him what to say yet.
    3)Thinks we are stupid enough to believe such a stupid statement.
    4) All of the above.

    With a statement like that maybe you will start to get the idea why we didn't want him to represent us the last time he ran.

    February 16, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  20. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    now WHO would want to hurt Rick Santorum?

    February 16, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  21. Sista in DC

    Requesting Secret Service protection is the closest he will get to the feel of being the POTUS. Once people, especially women, find out more about him – he can hang it up.

    February 16, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  22. clarke

    That is really a bad answer for a man who wants to be President. He does not know or remember?

    February 16, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  23. Chumlee

    Does this guy know what day it is? Dump the wardrope Santorum, it makes you look dumber than you might be

    February 16, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  24. Taylor

    Just like saying am unsure that i called 911.................tell you something people. If he is unsure he is not needed .

    February 16, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |