Cain Campaign Backtracks, Says Its Secret Service Protection Has Nothing to do With the Media
November 18, 2011 - 12:09 pm
Cain campaign round one:
Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon said Thursday night that the campaign asked for the protection after The Washington Post posted an article online that morning detailing a series of physical skirmishes involving journalists at Cain rallies.
The Cain campaign asked for the security and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and congressional leaders approved the request Thursday, said a government official, requesting anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the issue.
Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan confirmed that agents would be providing security for Cain, but declined to say what the security would entail or what prompted the decision. The agency rarely comments publicly on security operations.
Gordon would not say how many Secret Service agents would be positioned with Cain, but the spokesman said the coverage began Thursday night in New York, where Cain taped an interview on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”
On the campaign trail, Cain “draws anywhere from a dozen to 50 media at his events,” Gordon said. “When he gets out at a rally or a campaign stop, it has been increasingly common for media to be physically putting themselves and others in danger by trying to follow him with a lot of heavy equipment and cameras in close quarters like we saw yesterday.”
Cain campaign round two:
Herman Cain’s campaign is pushing back against the suggestion it requested Secret Service protection as a way to keep media at bay and limit the access reporters will have to the candidate.
“It has nothing to do with the media, it has nothing to do with reporters,” campaign spokesman J.D. Gordon said of the request for Secret Service protection.
Gordon said the campaign had requested protection “a couple weeks ago” after having received a series of threats. But Gordon said he would not comment on the nature of the threats or any specific instances.