WASHINGTON (AP) Sen. John McCain campaigns without Secret Service protection although he is the Republican Party's likely presidential nominee, the agency's director told Congress Thursday.
Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan told a House Appropriations subcommittee that the Arizona senator has not requested his agency's services.1
"Statutorily, he is not required to take protection," Sullivan said when asked about McCain's security during a hearing on the agency's budget. "As far as an actual request, we have not gotten one. We have no involvement at this point."
A request from McCain seems unlikely anytime soon, however.
The two-time presidential candidate has said he does not want Secret Service protection, fearing it would interfere with his brand of intimate campaigning among voters.
"I've never done it. After we won New Hampshire in 2000, they really tried to get us, but we said no," McCain said last November while campaigning in Concord, N.H. "It's an invasion of your ability to have contact with voters."
That contrasts with his Democratic rivals.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton travels with Secret Service agents due to her status as a former first lady, and Sen. Barack Obama requested and began receiving protection last year.
Federal law allows candidates to seek protection if they meet a series of standards, including public prominence as measured by polls and fundraising.