JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Flanked by Secret Service agents at an event in Florida Friday night, Herman Cain said he wasn’t scared of the media.
Not so afraid that he requested federal agents to protect him, nor too afraid to submit to lengthy questioning by newspaper editorial boards or other reporters.
The Secret Service announced it would provide a security detail to Cain on Thursday.
Soon after his spokesman J.D. Gordon told the Washington Post that “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.”
But Cain denied it was the media that led him to be federal protection. Recent events in New Hampshire had made the campaign “uncomfortable,” he said.
“It’s not that you all are too scary,” he told reporters. “No, the media doesn’t scare me. It’s just that we had reached this phase in the campaign. We had private security to this point. When we saw that we needed to have some additional security the right way, we took the liberty of making the request and it was approved [by the Secret Service.] It’s really nice having them around because it takes away some of the concerns that we were beginning to get. We were in New Hampshire and quite frankly there were some things that were beginning to make us feel uncomfortable. We’re glad the request was approved and feels great cause they do a great job of making things run smoothly.”
Working a rope line before the event, Cain was flanked by four agents, two on each side.
The members of his campaign whom he travels with, including his spokesman, appeared to be wearing buttons on their lapels, to indicate to agents they were allowed to approach the candidate.
Cain also told reporters that he did not meet with the editorial board of the New Hampshire Union Leader because of scheduling conflict and not because he was afraid to be grilled for one hour, following an embarrassing meeting with a newspaper board in Wisconsin.
“Do you think I’d be running for president if… I was scared of an editorial board or scared of the media? No. I’m not scared to go in front of the media. It was a scheduling conflict that’s all,” he said