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).