Need For Secret Service Details For Democratic Candidates Underscored By Protestors At Biden Rally
The Secret Service is planning to provide protection for presidential candidates after anti-dairy protestors rushed onto the stage of former Vice President Joe Biden‘s victory rally on Super Tuesday.
During a Thursday interview with NBC, Biden said “it’s becoming increasingly” clear that protection will be necessary. “I think that that’s something that has to be considered the more outrageous it becomes.”
Past presidential frontrunners had already been granted a Secret Service detail at this point in the election cycle. Then-candidate Donald Trump and Ben Carson received protection in November of 2015, while Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) received his the following February. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton already had a Secret Service detail during her presidential run due to her being a former first lady.
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Top Democratic and Republican leaders of Congress decide, in consultation with the homeland security secretary and the Secret Service, at what point and to whom protection should be assigned.
Generally, candidates must request a security detail from congressional leaders and the Homeland Security chief, but federal guidelines allow the process to begin without a candidate’s request. The Secret Service had reportedly been preparing to send protection details for the Democratic candidates in mid-March.
“The Secret Service has had teams identified, trained, and ready to deploy for months. Our men and women stand ready to execute this vital mission when a candidate makes a request through the Secretary of Homeland Security in consultation with the Congressional Candidate Advisory Panel,” the director of communications for the agency, Cathy Milhoan, said in a statement Wednesday.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi) is taking the next steps by requesting Secret Service protection for the Democratic presidential candidates due to the incident at Biden’s rally.
“Taking into consideration the remaining candidates’ large campaign operations, high polling averages, as well as physical threats to their safety — all factors contemplated by the Guidelines — I urge you to immediately initiate the consultation process to determine whether to provide USSS protection to certain major Democratic presidential candidates,” Thompson wrote.
Biden had just begun his speech Tuesday night when two women rushed onto the stage, shouting. The first woman yelled, “Let dairy die” and was grabbed by Biden’s private security guard. As a second woman climbed on stage the candidate’s wife, Jill Biden, blocked her husband, as Symone Sanders, a senior campaign adviser, pulled the protestor away.
— Ariaa Jaeger (@AriaaJaeger) March 4, 2020
“I tell you my wife’s something else, isn’t she?” Biden said on The Today Show. “I wasn’t scared for me, I was worried for Jill. She is incredible.”
He continued, “She did the same thing at another event in New Hampshire when a guy, I didn’t even see him coming behind me, he approached me in back and she runs up and grabs him. She and my daughter have more courage than I think. Anyway, that’s what I worry about, I worry about Jill.”
The two protestors were let go after being removed from the stage. They were campaigning as part of Direct Action Everywhere, a group of animal rights activists who are trying to put an end to the dairy industry, which they believe tortures animals at the expense of the environment.
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