April 4th, 2008
01:40 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain to request Secret Service protection

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A Secret Service source confirms that there have been contacts to arrange a meeting to discuss possible protection for Senator John McCain. The source tells CNN the contact was initiated by the McCain campaign.

Two sources, one in the campaign and one in the government, tell CNN there has been occasional contact for some time, although the presumptive Republican nominee himself has long declined a security detail. The discussions centered on issues like the potential risk of certain locations, though nothing that has ever reached the point of a specific or worrisome threat.

A sit-down meeting between McCain aides and top agency officials was scheduled to take place several weeks ago - before yesterday's congressional testimony by Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan that the Arizona senator was not currently protected by an official security detail - but that discussion was postponed by the campaign.

That meeting had been scheduled to discuss a timetable for the eventual addition of protection, one that both sources now say they expect to be accelerated, and to begin in the near future (though no specific date has yet been set.) A detail is ready; candidate details teams have been training for months, and there is a McCain team ready to go on very short notice.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. Mike

    I support Obama, but who one supports is irrelevant to this question. All 3 candidates deserve the protection and should have it. I'm surprised that McCain did not already have it.

    By the way, I have attended rallies for both Obama and Clinton, and saw and really appreciated the job that the Secret Service does.

    April 4, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. I used to be a Democrat

    Being in Memphis will change your mind about personal protection. Its a dangerous place, no doubt. I never go there without protection.

    April 4, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  3. LisaSF

    The Austrian said: "I think the president himself should carry a handgun–like any responsible citizen would."

    I hope this thinking doesn't extend to our current Vice President. Cheney should definitely not be allowed to carry a gun.

    April 4, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  4. John in KY

    Give him a Dalmation Dog and couple of Clydesdale Horses!

    Go Hillary!

    April 4, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. Cindy in California

    Secret Service protection for what? I am sure he is on a first name basis with all 20 of the supporters who attend his rallys. Give me a break

    April 4, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  6. Darth Vadik, CA

    Did you hear what he said yesterday, this is amazing, and it made his aides cringe,

    HE BROUGHT UP HIS AGE WHEN IT CAME TO CONSIDERING A VP (you know because he sooooo old and might not make it to the end of his term)

    What a duffus, he keeps jabbing himself with a pencil in the eye, this is going to be such a self-destructive campaign, I just cant wait for it.

    April 4, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  7. Lee

    I do believe that Senator McCain should have protection. That being said, I just wonder why the taxpayers should have to pay for his or the other two candidates protections. Per CNN's report, it cost about $38,000 per day per candidate. Well with all of them bragging about how many millions they have received from their supporters (to get their faces on T.V.) you would think that they would be able to shell out a few thousand a day to save their A–. Why should the taxpayers again have to pony up. I sure do not want to see any of them hurt, but hey, I have to pay for my home security system without any help from my Uncle Sam.

    April 4, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  8. dxcited1

    I find it ironic that after McCain went to Memphis and was booed for his mistake in not voting for the original MLK day in Arizona and cancelled appearances with community officials, he decided to finally accept Secret Service Protection.

    Let's ask John McCain about his reason to accept Secret Service following his Memphis appearance at the MLK Rededication Ceremony.

    I noticed that on his campaign trail John did say he did not need nor did he want Secret Service Protection. However following the April 4, ceremony in Memphis for Dr. King he cancelled all other appearances and went straight to FOXNEWS to do an interview where he stated he would now consider Secret Service Proctection.

    It seems that when he is in Arizona, Florida or Washington among his own kind he seems free and comfortable. However, in Memphis he seemed stiff and uncomfortable.

    I wonder how does McCain plan to solve the race problem in America when he does not seem comfortable with diversity.

    April 4, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  9. CC

    It's not funny. I know what it's like to have your candidate murdered. We do not need to go through that again. I wouldn't vote for him, but he needs to be protected – they all do, whether they like it or not. It's not just about them, it's about all of us.

    April 4, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  10. CA Girl

    Larry B – great answer! I agree. Apparently, McCain is the lead on Iraq issues.

    April 4, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  11. sheila levine

    McPain (McCain's new name) is an angry, loathing, vengeful warmonger. He is WORSE than Bush times ten.

    Why? He wants WAY more war. WAY more deaths and stupid interventionist foreign conflicts. He has already said he plans to go to war with Iran.

    He is not a true Republican. He represents the worst aspects of both parties: he's a left-leaning fundamentalist on most issues that Republicans are right-leaning on, and he's an absolute radical in areas where Democrats typically favor individual rights.

    McPain is dangerous, to everyone.

    Vote for ANYONE except him!

    April 4, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
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