A disclaimer: There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a top tier candidate asking for Secret Service protection. But the Herman Cain campaign’s explanation for becoming the first Republican candidate to call in the feds is, well, a bit strange. They say they requested reinforcements specifically to protect him…from television cameras.
From the Washington Post:
[Cain spokesman JD 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.”
However, accounts by reporters are very different than Gordon’s story of a candidate whose personal health is threatened by an unruly reporter mob. Aaron Blake, a blogger at The Fix, recently reported that Cain’s bodyguards tried to physically intimidate him out of a public space near the candidate because they said they didn’t want him asking the gaffe-prone Republican any questions.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.