Herman Cain publicly addressed his campaign’s request for Secret Service protection for the first time Friday, saying at a campaign stop in Florida that his staff was concerned for his safety.
“We were in New Hampshire and there was some things that, quite frankly, made us feel a little uncomfortable,” Cain said at press conference in Jacksonville, according to CNN. “So we are glad that the request was approved and it feels great because they do a great job of making things move seamlessly.”
Cain’s campaign spokesman told the Washington Post Friday that the campaign had requested the agents because of concerns about physical skirmishes between journalists at Cain events.
“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,” Gordon told the Post. He said that the candidate was drawing between a dozen and 50 media members to most campaign stops.
But in Florida, Cain attributed the request to the success of his campaign, saying at a separate event in Orlando that “we wanted to move to that next level because of my ranking in the polls and the additional scrutiny that I have been getting.”
“It’s just that it was time because of the popularity of my campaign,” Cain said. “It was just time to go to that next step and I’m just glad that, you know, we were given that opportunity so we are delighted to have it.”
Cain is the first Republican candidate to receive Secret Service protection this election cycle. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano authorized the detail after consulting with a congressional advisory committee.