Cain gets Secret Service protection from … the media? Update: No more videotaped interviews with editorial boards, campaign says

posted at 11:10 am on November 18, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

So says Herman Cain’s spokesman, as reported by the Washington Post last night, but I’m having trouble believing it.  Does the Secret Service routinely provide protection from political threats rather than physical threats?

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain began receiving protection from the U.S. Secret Service Thursday, his campaign said, making the Georgia businessman the first GOP presidential contender to received stepped-up security on the campaign trail.

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. …

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.”

One would think that the Secret Service would only get involved if a candidate had received threats other than persistent reporters.  That might not be surprising, given the heated debate over years-old allegations of sexual harassment that arose a couple of weeks ago against Cain.  It’s not unthinkable that Cain could have received a few threats from a few enraged nutcases, and that those could have precipitated the unusual (but not unprecedented) assignment of Secret Service protection.  It’s hard to imagine that the Department of Homeland Security and Congress would have signed off on this request for any other reason, as they did in this case.

Why would Gordon blame the media crush on Cain at events for the request, if in fact threats had been received?  For one thing, the campaign wouldn’t necessarily want to encourage more threats, and law enforcement might want to investigate any possible threats with as little publicity as possible.  Under those circumstances, though, it would be better to say nothing at all rather than claim that a presidential candidate needed armed protection from the media covering the campaign.

Personally, I think Cain is a terrific person, so I wish him well and hope he is safe in his campaign travels.  If he has gotten threats, they need to be taken seriously.  But if the only threat is that the media is getting a little intense, then he should hire more bodyguards in private rather than request Secret Service protection as a buffer from reporters.  If it’s something else, then the campaign should just keep its mouth shut.

Update: Well, maybe it is to keep the media off his back, considering the new policy at the Cain campaign:

Herman Cain’s campaign will no longer allow videotaping of the Republican presidential candidate’s meetings with newspaper editorial boards.

Campaign spokesman J.D. Gordon says the new edict has nothing to do with the fact that Mr. Cain bumbled for several minutes earlier this weekwhen members of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial board asked him, on video, whether he agrees with President Barack Obama’s handling of events in Libya. …

Mr. Gordon announced the new policy in the Airport Diner in Manchester Thursday, after reporters asked why Mr. Cain refused to be videotaped by C-SPAN during a meeting with the New Hampshire Union Leader editorial staff. The decision against tapng ultimately scotched the meeting, which had been scheduled for Thursday morning.

I hate to break this to the Cain campaign, but dealing with the media is part of the job.  And frankly, getting videotape is usually better for the candidate so that people can see the context for the quotes that come out of the interviews.

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He can run, but he can’t hide.

Schadenfreude on November 18, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Leadership.

Afraid of Katey Couric, are ya Herm?

JohnGalt23 on November 18, 2011 at 11:16 AM

A cone of silence would be cheaper than a secret service detail.

Vashta.Nerada on November 18, 2011 at 11:17 AM

I hope all those running stay safe. There are ‘nuts’ that don’t like one or more running, and they should have protection from anyone who might want to harm them. I do wish Herman well with his effort running.
L

letget on November 18, 2011 at 11:17 AM

maybe cain should sequester himself somewhere for a while.. you know, to stay safe..

gatorboy on November 18, 2011 at 11:18 AM

We’d be amazed by the volume and tone of stuff these people get everyday…

golfmann on November 18, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Here is incident that caused this

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/11/17/8860351-cains-security-tangles-with-reporter-in-florida

As reporters ran outside to cover Cain’s exit from the restaurant and walk to his bus, one journalist, Lindsey Boerma of CBS, was struck by a man who was later revealed as a plainclothes police officer. Boerma said the officer, identified by the Coral Springs police department as Sgt. William Reid, stuck his arm out and clotheslined her.

William Amos on November 18, 2011 at 11:19 AM

So Hermain Cain is the reason that hispanic dude almost killed Barack!!1!!!

SouthernGent on November 18, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Really?

gophergirl on November 18, 2011 at 11:20 AM

I read Cain received DEATH threats, which is why he has gotten Secret Service protection. If that is true, this story here maikaes good headlines and grabs some attention but lacks TRUTH!

easyt65 on November 18, 2011 at 11:23 AM

cainiacs will just eat this up. herm is fighting back!! he’s attacking the media unlike all those rino’s who let the media push us around!! /

and there is also the report no more recorded editorial board meetins. thats the level of transparency you usually only get from obama

chasdal on November 18, 2011 at 11:24 AM

As reporters ran outside to cover Cain’s exit from the restaurant and walk to his bus, one journalist, Lindsey Boerma of CBS, was struck by a man who was later revealed as a plainclothes police officer. Boerma said the officer, identified by the Coral Springs police department as Sgt. William Reid, stuck his arm out and clotheslined her.

William Amos on November 18, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Hahahaaaaaa…we all need secret service against the media..love it.

tinkerthinker on November 18, 2011 at 11:25 AM

The thinking must be that the Secret Service Detail will make him look more presidential than the other candidates. The smoking man strikes again.

meci on November 18, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Really?

gophergirl on November 18, 2011 at 11:20 AM
cain should be protected from himself-being that he’s is OWN worst enemy.

annoyinglittletwerp on November 18, 2011 at 11:27 AM

One would think that the Secret Service would only get involved if a candidate had received threats other than persistent reporters.

It’s very clear the media are a threat to all of us.

SouthernGent on November 18, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Obama’s Secret Service protection began in May 2007. So the Republicans are 6 months late.

Jim Treacher on November 18, 2011 at 11:30 AM

I think Herb finally lost me at the confusion over federal employee unions and their collective bargaining rights.

That Joanne Huntsman though; I can get on board with that!

NotCoach on November 18, 2011 at 11:31 AM

SouthernGent on November 18, 2011 at 11:28 AM

my mother’s a retired print reporter. The media scares me not one bit.
Now-gotta got put the kitten back in the spare bedroom and get ready for work.

annoyinglittletwerp on November 18, 2011 at 11:31 AM

why do cain supporters always invoke obama when defending cain? is that the new standard of excellence?? if a candidate can rise above that bar we should be happy w/ him?

chasdal on November 18, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Obama’s Secret Service protection began in May 2007. So the Republicans are 6 months late.

Jim Treacher on November 18, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Who cares about Obama.

If Cain has a legitimate security concern – by all means get him the protection he needs. If he’s doing this to be protected from the “big bad” media, then I have an issue with it.

gophergirl on November 18, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Who cares about Obama.

If Cain has a legitimate security concern – by all means get him the protection he needs. If he’s doing this to be protected from the “big bad” media, then I have an issue with it.

gophergirl on November 18, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Who cares about historical precedent indeed?

Jim Treacher on November 18, 2011 at 11:40 AM

why do cain supporters always invoke obama when defending cain? is that the new standard of excellence?? if a candidate can rise above that bar we should be happy w/ him?

chasdal on November 18, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Why does presenting relevant facts make one a “Cain defender”?

Jim Treacher on November 18, 2011 at 11:40 AM

OT: Would someone please fix the Townhall links —->

The articles are almost 2 weeks old.

Connie on November 18, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Cain needs protection from assault just like everyone else does.

The so called media are like OWS mobs seeking out confrontations to put themselves on the evening News.

If we want to ridicule Herman, then we will see everything he or his campaign does as shameful.

But the question remains: What will we do if Cain will not surrender to the assaults upon his character and his person?

Suppose the voters are smart enough to see what’s going on and still admire strong Conservative principles in a President who is suddenly said to be an inept minstrel that jokes at the idiocy of the press when he is not deflowering our white women?

jimw on November 18, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Who cares about historical precedent indeed?

Jim Treacher on November 18, 2011 at 11:40 AM

In this case I don’t. Protection is on a case by case basis IMO. Do I think Obama needed it way back then – probably not.

Do I think Cain needs it now – depends on the circumstance.

gophergirl on November 18, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Jim Treacher on November 18, 2011 at 11:40 AM

at what point in the last campaign did obama stop allowing recordings at editorial board meetings?

chasdal on November 18, 2011 at 11:43 AM

why do cain supporters always invoke obama when defending cain? is that the new standard of excellence??

HARDLY!

if a candidate can rise above that bar we should be happy w/ him?

If they CAN’T rise above that bar we should feel sorry for them…and quickly move on to better choices!

easyt65 on November 18, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Are you sure journalists are physically harmless?
Iowahawk was ahead of the game again.

Bylines of Brutality

Journo-politico Violence: Deadly Threat or Menacing Trend?

There were a disturbing number of actual news links in those humor pieces.

zmdavid on November 18, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Does the Secret Service routinely provide protection from political threats rather than physical threats?

In that case they need to protect him from his campaign manager.

cartooner on November 18, 2011 at 11:45 AM

if a candidate can rise above that bar we should be happy w/ him?

If they CAN’T rise above that bar we should feel sorry for them…and quickly move on to better choices!

easyt65 on November 18, 2011 at 11:43 AM

That’s the real 99%. 99% of the population would be a better President than Obama.

zmdavid on November 18, 2011 at 11:47 AM

at what point in the last campaign did obama stop allowing recordings at editorial board meetings?

chasdal on November 18, 2011 at 11:43 AM

I don’t know. What does it have to do with the Secret Service?

Jim Treacher on November 18, 2011 at 11:52 AM

at what point in the last campaign did obama stop allowing recordings at editorial board meetings?

chasdal on November 18, 2011 at 11:43 AM

I don’t know. What does it have to do with the Secret Service?

Jim Treacher on November 18, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Good luck finding those recordings at any rate, gentlemen. Obama has a gift for keeping secret what he wants kept secret as well as exposing the secrets of his political opponents.

gryphon202 on November 18, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Cain needs to be responsible for his own security detail. If his campaign can’t raise the funds to finance that, he shouldn’t be running. Secret Service is historically reserved for the ultimate nominee during the general campaign, not for individuals during primaries.

Obozo was an exception because he was a sitting Senator. McCain had the same opportunity offered to him, which he declined until he won the nomination.

He’s only looking for a shield so he can’t be sandbagged like he thought he was with the Libya question. Cain needs to grow a pair.

stacman on November 18, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Key question:

Are taxpayers footing the bill for this so-called conservative ‘s media protection?

bigred on November 18, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Cain needs to be responsible for his own security detail. If his campaign can’t raise the funds to finance that, he shouldn’t be running. Secret Service is historically reserved for the ultimate nominee during the general campaign, not for individuals during primaries.

You mean like Obama in May of 2007?

Obozo was an exception because he was a sitting Senator. McCain had the same opportunity offered to him, which he declined until he won the nomination.

Wasn’t McCain also a sitting senator at the time? Or did I miss something?

He’s only looking for a shield so he can’t be sandbagged like he thought he was with the Libya question. Cain needs to grow a pair.

stacman on November 18, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Or maybe he’s actually received genuine threats. I don’t know. But come on. You don’t actually know any more than I do.

gryphon202 on November 18, 2011 at 12:00 PM

If you feel threatened by the media, stick ‘em in closets.

hit and run on November 18, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Key question:

Are taxpayers footing the bill for this so-called conservative ‘s media protection?

bigred on November 18, 2011 at 11:59 AM

OR:

Is the Cain campaign once again trying unsuccessfully to blow smoke up our asses in asserting that it’s the media Cain needs protection from?

gryphon202 on November 18, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Regarding whether the media is a threat, one needs only to look at the end of this movie to see that it could be used as cover for a threat.

platypus on November 18, 2011 at 12:05 PM

I used to work in the White House and I used to ride in those smarmy motorcades with the Secret Service and the Presidential Limo.

A protective detail for Cain is fine – but it’s going to slow his campaign down, which is something that he can’t afford.

First of all, when you have a “PD” … the PD has to be in on everything. They have to see your travel and event plans (IN ADVANCE) … they have to review those plans … they have to assess the risks (and the Secret Service PD’s tend to be rightfully a bit paranoid about a lot of situations) … they have to propose alternatives to mitigate risks … and sometimes they have to put their foot down and say “NO – You’re not going there – we can’t guarantee your safety”.

So the first thing a campaign has to be … when dealing with a PD … is … DISCIPLINED. Disciplined enough to HAVE A PLAN IN ADVANCE. Disciplined enough to minimize changing the plan. Disciplined enough to follow the plan.

Also need to have the flexibility to deal with changes the PD wants to make – TO THE PLAN.

Does this sound like the Cain campaign? Disciplined?

Uhm .. no.

HondaV65 on November 18, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Herman Cain’s campaign will no longer allow videotaping of the Republican presidential candidate’s meetings with newspaper editorial boards.

Well, somebody certainly is a fancy lad. Quite the prima donna there…

JohnGalt23 on November 18, 2011 at 12:14 PM

I’m getting the feeling that Mr. Cain needs to find a way to get a bit of down time and regroup. Not a lot, just a bit. I don’t think all of this is as easy as they try to make it appear.

Cindy Munford on November 18, 2011 at 12:16 PM

The media scares me not one bit.

annoyinglittletwerp on November 18, 2011 at 11:31 AM

…she said from her comfy little world of anonymity.

Saltysam on November 18, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Who cares about historical precedent indeed?

Jim Treacher on November 18, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Why is that relevant here? Is that something you think all candidates should start doing? Just because Obama did it, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he was right to do so or that others should do the same.

I don’t have a problem with Cain getting this protection. Obviously someone signed off on this and decided it was important or necessary. And surely he can’t use this protection just to keep scary questions away from him.

But if keeping the media away was the only reason he decided to request it, that does say something about Cain and his judgment.

Esthier on November 18, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Who cares about historical precedent indeed?

Jim Treacher on November 18, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Why is that relevant here? Is that something you think all candidates should start doing? Just because Obama did it, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he was right to do so or that others should do the same.

Esthier on November 18, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Doesn’t mean it doesn’t, either. Just pointing out that it’s not setting some sort of precedent.

Jim Treacher on November 18, 2011 at 12:24 PM

But remember, those who did not jump on the Cain train had absolutely no reason to doubt his ability to be awesome. All these recent problems in his campaign are due to, gotcha questions, unfair accusations, lack of sleep (beause he was stressed out reading what I had to day apparently), a hostile press, and now powerful camera attacks (that distract him?).

astonerii on November 18, 2011 at 12:25 PM

According to Obama, Herb could get shot at a gas station.. or something.

faraway on November 18, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Doesn’t mean it doesn’t, either. Just pointing out that it’s not setting some sort of precedent.

Jim Treacher on November 18, 2011 at 12:24 PM

That’s fair. I just didn’t think people were complaining about it being unprecedented.

Esthier on November 18, 2011 at 12:29 PM

That’s fair. I just didn’t think people were complaining about it being unprecedented.

Esthier on November 18, 2011 at 12:29 PM

I think that a person could be forgiven for thinking so; this is not the most flaming example of Cain’s campaigning ignorance by far.

gryphon202 on November 18, 2011 at 12:33 PM

That’s fair. I just didn’t think people were complaining about it being unprecedented.

Esthier on November 18, 2011 at 12:29 PM

People complain about everything.

Jim Treacher on November 18, 2011 at 12:33 PM

People complain about everything.

Jim Treacher on November 18, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Why must you put “everything” in italics? Very annoying.

/

DrAllecon on November 18, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Anybody remember the first season, indeed the first episode of 24? They were wondering why Palmer needed their services because there are death threats all the time. Jack said it was because he was black and that could be the case in Cain’s camp.

thebrokenrattle on November 18, 2011 at 1:08 PM

During the 2010 gubernatorial campaign in Texas, Perry didn’t even give editorial board interviews
at all. His strategy was “Why let the media filter me? I’m taking my message straight to the people.” Made sense to me at the time, but I can see how it has handicapped Perry’s ability to deal with a hostile press.

I don’t think that’s Cain’s motive here, though. Until now, he has not shied away at all from the spot light or microphones, even during the height of a scandal. Something else is going on here, but it doesn’t seem like ducking for cover from the press to me.

parteagirl on November 18, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Jack said it was because he was black and that could be the case in Cain’s camp.

thebrokenrattle on November 18, 2011 at 1:08 PM

This could be the case. I know Al Sharpton got SS protection when he ran, because I know someone who was assigned to him.

txmomof6 on November 18, 2011 at 1:29 PM

Why must you put “everything” in italics? Very annoying.

/

DrAllecon on November 18, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Scare quotes are THE. WORST. THING. EVAH.!!!!11!!!11!

hit and run on November 18, 2011 at 1:31 PM

And frankly, getting videotape is usually better for the candidate so that people can see the context for the quotes that come out of the interviews.

Perhaps not in this case.

a capella on November 18, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Obama’s Secret Service protection began in May 2007. So the Republicans are 6 months late.

Jim Treacher on November 18, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Who cares about Obama.

If Cain has a legitimate security concern – by all means get him the protection he needs. If he’s doing this to be protected from the “big bad” media, then I have an issue with it.

gophergirl on November 18, 2011 at 11:37 AM

The Secret Service probably doesn’t get involved with media scuffles alone.

The point about Obama is that Cain isn’t s00per speshul in getting Secret Service help. It’s been done before.

If they are doing this, there’s probably a good reason.

kim roy on November 18, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Jim Treacher on November 18, 2011 at 11:40 AM

at what point in the last campaign did obama stop allowing recordings at editorial board meetings?

chasdal on November 18, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Did he every do any without knowing the questions beforehand or without serious assistance?

C’mon people. Don’t be silly. And we wonder why good people don’t run or don’t get involved. Who’d want to have to deal with this kind of nitpicking and nonsense.

You don’t like Cain. That’s fine, but don’t lose your perspective. Why do people think they have to tear down some to elevate others??

kim roy on November 18, 2011 at 2:18 PM

kim roy on November 18, 2011 at 2:18 PM

is it your contention that these sessions are done w/ the candidate having the questions beforehand except for cain? cause thats what it sounds like. is that the new excuse for cain knowing jack crap about libya?? he sounded so lost. hell, if he had been watching the news or reading a newspaper he wouldve sounded more knowledgeable. i do its standard practice for the media to tape thses q&a’s. but now cain wont allow it. its taht obama level of transparency!!

chasdal on November 18, 2011 at 3:00 PM

is it your contention that these sessions are done w/ the candidate having the questions beforehand except for cain? cause thats what it sounds like. is that the new excuse for cain knowing jack crap about libya??

This is what I mean about perspective being lost. Your reply above is incoherent and no where have I said anything about the other candidates. My comment about having the questions ahead of time was directed solely at Obama, who YOU brought up.

Please don’t attach any strawmen or boogiemen to my words due to your lack of reading comprehension.

kim roy on November 18, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Even local election candidates routinely get videotaped at editorial board visits. If Cain can’t handle that then he needs to quit right now.

jnelchef on November 18, 2011 at 3:39 PM

If it’s something else, then the campaign should just keep its mouth shut.

Really Ed? What if its a tangible threat, hence the SS protection – instead of, you know – broadcasting the threat for everyone. SS protection must be approved and it was…

Save the BS about him being a “nice guy and all” – you are fullblown muckraking each and every day against Cain.

BTW – how are those scandals – and Skank Allred pressers doing.. oh thats right – there arent any.

Ed Morrissey = Sam McClure.

Odie1941 on November 18, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Ed Morrissey = Sam McClure.

Odie1941 on November 18, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Your candidate is a sad joke who would be hard pressed to get elected dogcatcher much less trying for anything better. Attacking the source of the problem would be to attack Cain himself, so you need a scapegoat. Ed Morrissey didn’t make Cain into a laughing stock and his silence on the issue won’t help Cain either.

sharrukin on November 18, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Someone needs to CAT scan Mr. Cain’s head. None of this is making much sense and I’m thinking his recent behavior may be attributed to a metastasis. God help him if it is so.

gracie on November 18, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Someone needs to CAT scan Mr. Cain’s head. None of this is making much sense and I’m thinking his recent behavior may be attributed to a metastasis. God help him if it is so.

gracie on November 18, 2011 at 4:22 PM

I really hope you are wrong about that.

sharrukin on November 18, 2011 at 4:26 PM

I really hope you are wrong about that.
sharrukin on November 18, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Me too. Just have to keep it in mind particularly in someone known to have metastatic disease already (even tho he was treated and they couldn’t find any tumor a few months ago.)

gracie on November 18, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Saltysam on November 18, 2011 at 12:19 PM

click on my name. My REAL name is listed on my blog in the first post.
I’ll give you a start: it’s Barb M.(The blog spells out my last name)

annoyinglittletwerp on November 19, 2011 at 12:03 AM