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Newt Gingrich Still Getting Secret Service Protection at $44,000 a Day

Even though Mitt Romney is the presumptive Republican nominee, Newt Gingrich is still getting Secret Service protection at an estimated cost to taxpayers of $44,000 a day.

Daily Caller (“Gingrich’s Secret Service detail likely costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars a day“):

Even though by his own estimation he has very little prospect of winning the Republican nomination, Newt Gingrich is still likely costing the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars a day with his Secret Service detail on the campaign trail.

[...]

“It’s not a waste of money,” [Gingrich campaign spokesman R.C. ] Hammond protested. “Going out and protecting candidates and making sure they can pursue their candidacy in an election without harm — that’s exactly what we want to go on in this country.”

Hammond refused to comment on whether the protection is needed because Gingrich is receiving safety threats. “We don’t comment on security stuff. We never have.”

“We have no plans to change our relationship with the Secret Service. They are tremendously good at what they do. And we think that any candidate that qualifies for protection should have it.”

Secret Service spokesman Max Milien declined to say how much it is costing taxpayers now to protect a candidate every day.

“We don’t release any details on deliberations or assessments. But he meets the criteria for protection,” he said.

But in his 2008 testimony, Sullivan estimated that the cost of providing a security detail to a candidate would rise about $44,000 a day.

On Wednesday, Milien told TheDC that the Secret Service doesn’t make the decision on who gets protection and when it starts or ends.

“The secretary of Homeland Security, at the request of the campaign and in consultation with the congressional advisory committee, authorities us to provide protection,” he said.

This seems rather obviously silly. Gingrich is not a meaningful contender for the presidency and shouldn’t be entitled to taxpayer funded security. Indeed, it’s not clear why any candidate should get protection prior to becoming the nominee absent extraordinary circumstances (such as last cycle, when a certain controversial black man accused of being a secret Muslim from Kenya was a major candidate).

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Hey Norm says:

    The Buffet Rule would pay for this for quite a while.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  2. Fiona says:

    This is a ridiculous waste of taxpayer money. Newt’s such a welfare queen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

  3. Franklin says:

    I would expect that the Secret Service does some assessment of security threats and responds with the appropriate level of resources. So that Mooslim candidate you speak of from last time probably cost a lot more per day than Gingrich currently does.

    But yeah, if he actually cared about taxpayer dollars …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  4. anjin-san says:

    I wonder when Fox will start running banner headlines on this scandal…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  5. @anjin-san:

    I wonder when Fox will start running banner headlines on this scandal…

    Pretty soon probably. Newt failed to kiss Murdoch’s ring a couple of weeks ago and said CNN was better, remember? Now he’s gonna get punished for going off the ranch.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  6. Gustopher says:

    From this and previous stories, we can learn that the Secret Service, underestimates the danger of penguin attacks.

    Somewhere, someone has a diabolical plan that puts this snippet of information to use.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  7. Tsar Nicholas says:

    I was about to say if Newt had even one shred of dignity he’d waive this protection, but then I remembered this is Newt Gingrich about which we’re speaking.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  8. TeaPartyNation says:

    Newt Gingrich Still Getting Secret Service Protection at $44,000 a Day
    ..and that’s just the cost of the Secret Service prostitutes !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  9. al-Ameda says:

    $44,00 per day?
    That’s about 12 days on his Tiffany’s expense account.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  10. lidia says:

    if i were newt, with the threats he is getting, i too, would use the seceret service. the cost of that is set by the companies not newt. obama is waisting more tax dollars every day from americans. the seceret service is provided to all runners for president. the race is not over with half of america still going to cast votes..the media wants america to think romney has won this. why does america believe the media…we had better think for ourselves and get this election right..be sure to vote your primary for your local area..then we vote in a general in november.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2