WASHINGTON (AP) — Herman Cain has reportedly been receiving threats -- and now he's the first Republican presidential contender to get Secret Service protection.
It's not clear whether a specific incident triggered Cain's request, but an official with knowledge of the situation says there have been threats, and police reports show that his campaign has received at least one threatening phone call.
In early June, Cain's campaign office in Stockbridge, Ga., reported receiving a call from someone claiming to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan. According to a written statement Cain's administrative assistant gave to police, the man said "there's no such thing as a black Republican," and that Cain should not run for the White House.
The caller did not explicitly threaten violence, but local police alerted the FBI and the Secret Service.
Cain's campaign says the candidate has been attracting large crowds after a "recent surge in the polls" and it appreciates the "extra level of protection."
The Secret Service confirms it's providing the security, but it won't discuss why.
Secret Service protection is given to each major party's presidential nominee, but it can be provided earlier if the Homeland Security Department approves a campaign's request.
062-v-26-(Shirley Smith, AP correspondent)--Herman Cain has become the first GOP presidential contender to get Secret Service protection. AP correspondent Shirley Smith reports. (18 Nov 2011)
<<CUT *062 (11/18/11)>> 00:26
063-c-15-(Shirley Smith, AP correspondent)-"former first lady"-AP correspondent Shirley Smith reports Herman Cain is the first Republican presidential candidate to get Secret Service protection in the upcoming race. (18 Nov 2011)
<<CUT *063 (11/18/11)>> 00:15 "former first lady"
064-c-14-(Shirley Smith, AP correspondent)-"in the House"-AP correspondent Shirley Smith reports Secret Service protection is given to each major party's presidential nominee, but can be provided earlier. (18 Nov 2011)
<<CUT *064 (11/18/11)>> 00:14 "in the House"