Why did Herman Cain Really Get a Secret Service Detail? | Politics

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Why did Herman Cain Really Get a Secret Service Detail?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- During his stop on the First Coast, GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain had a few more people in his entourage: tSecret Service.

Cain requested their protection a little more than a week ago, but denied reports that it was because the media had been too aggressive. "It's not that you are all too scary! The media doesn't scare me, no," he said.

Cain's campaign requested a Secret Service detail after a stop in New Hampshire that left the candidate shaken.

"There were some things that quite frankly made us feel a little uncomfortable, so we're glad that the request was approved," he said.  

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said threats are not part of the criteria for a candidate to get a detail, but there are a number of considerations.

Anyone interested in being assigned a detail must have major name recognition, at least $2 million in donations, and be registered in 10 state primaries.

Cain met all of those requirements, according to Donovan, and a Congressional Panel approved the Secret Service protection for the candidate.

"It's really nice to have them around because it takes away some of the concerns that we were beginning to get," he said.

During his stop in Jacksonville, half a dozen Secret Service members were visibly by his side.

One of them even cracked a smile when 20-month-old Lucy who came out to see the candidate handed Cain her sippy cup.

The Secret Service would not reveal how many members were protecting Cain Friday night during his campaign stop at the Times-Union Center, or how much it costs for a candidate to have a detail.

Donovan did say candidates for president have been protected for the last 12 election cycles, and that then Senator Barack Obama got his detail the earliest in May 2007.

Part of the federal budget goes to protecting candidates for the country's top job every election, said Donovan.

"They do a great job of making sure things move seamlessly," he said.

One secret they would not reveal: Cain's new Secret Service call name.  




Downtown Jacksonville Deals

Downtown Jacksonville Businesses