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Ron Paul to Jay Leno: Secret Service protection is ‘a form of welfare’

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) told comedian Jay Leno Tuesday night that he rejected Secret Service protection because he doesn’t believe taxpayers should have to pay for the protection of an “ordinary citizen.”

“Well, it’s a form of welfare,” Paul, who placed third in Tuesday’s Illinois primary, said when asked by Leno why he doesn’t have Secret Service protection. “You know, you’re having the taxpayers pay to take care of somebody. I’m an ordinary citizen. I would think I should pay for my own protection. And it costs, I think, more than $50,000 a day to protect those individuals. That’s a lot of money.”

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum both have Secret Service protection – their respective nicknames are “Javelin” and “Petrus,” GQ’s Marc Ambinder reported this week. Former Hosue speaker Newt Gingrich also has it.


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