(CNN) – Ever the small-government idealist, Republican presidential contender Ron Paul said he skipped Secret Service protection because it was a “form of welfare.”
“You’re having the taxpayers pay to take care of somebody,” Paul told talk show host Jay Leno on Tuesday night. “And I’m an ordinary citizen, and I think I should pay for my own protection.”
The 12-term congressman skipped the Republican primaries in Illinois on Tuesday, opting instead to spend the day in Los Angeles where he appeared on Leno’s late night talk show.
Popular with young voters, Paul enjoyed frequent applause from the audience as he and Leno discussed a number of topics, ranging from the influence of Super PACs in the 2012 election, to the current debate over access to contraceptives.
The candidate also used the opportunity to highlight his fiscal conservatism, linking it to his decision not to accept Secret Service protection.
The interview came shortly after GQ reported that presidential contenders Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum go by the Secret Service codenames ‘Javelin’ and ‘Petrus,’ respectively.
And, while Paul may not be eager to accept the extra security any time soon, he was willing to offer a potential codename for himself: Bulldog.
This gentleman is beyond honorable. We don't deserve him but we do deserve the government we will get.
Ron Paul public servant.
Go Ron Paul!
The problem is that none of these clowns are worthy of any protection. All of them can afford their own goons.
Don't you have to be a serious contender in order to get Secret Service protection? Why is Paul still even in the race?
As if he needs protection! Silly old man.
I agree with him.
He's not important enough to need SS protection, unlike the sitting President and other high ranking officials who are at high risk just by their unique jobs.
A typical example of Ron Paul not knowing how the world works, Does he not understand that we, the people, have a vested interest in protecting our leaders (or potential leaders)? Didn't he learn anything from the assassinations of MLK, JFK, Bobby kennedy, and the attempted assassination of Reagan? RP is damaged in some way and can not learn.
What a guy, all the other candidates pale in comparison..
There are a few problems with Paul. He seems to think that the protections that the government now provides will be provided by the market (clean water and air, making sure that drugs are safe and effective among other things). I don't see that as happening. Government won't protect everyone from everything, but it can at least make those that screw the average citizen to account for major mistakes.
The idea behind the secret service is (beyond protecting the currency from counterfiters) is to protect the head of state (the president and many of the executive staff) and foreign heads of state. To do without that is asking for trouble. If candidates from the party in power don't get it, then people could attack those people. The secret service is there to make sure the candidates make it to election day.
These days, taking a salary for being a republican congressman is a form of welfare. How can anyone expect to get paid when they do absolutely nothing, yet they swore to serve our great country?
Paul is an anarchist, plain and simple.
They claim Ron Paul the crazy one. It seems like to me he the only one not crazy. All these guys accepting security because of the crazy crap they say from time to time is getting them confronted by angry people who know the crowd running for president is going to make things worst for the least of us. America we need protection from them and their hate speech they have been spreading for the last 6 months.