Syndicated with permission via Valiant News| Tom Pappert| OPINION|
Today Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. revealed that the Biden administration has refused to provide him with a Secret Service detail – something standard for serious political candidates – reportedly claiming the protection is “not warranted” despite Kennedy’s unique circumstances and family history.
“Since the assassination of my father in 1968, candidates for president are provided Secret Service protection,” wrote Kennedy on Twitter. “But not me.”
The presidential candidate noted that “typical turnaround time” for a presidential candidate’s Secret Service protection request is 14 days, but “After 88-days of no response and after several follow-ups by our campaign, the Biden Administration just denied our request.”
Kennedy then offered a direct quote from Biden administration Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas: “I have determined that Secret Service protection for Robert F. Kennedy is not warranted at this time.”
This, Kennedy wrote, is despite a “67-page report from the world’s leading protection firm, detailing unique and well established security and safety risks aside from commonplace death threats.”
Since the assassination of my father in 1968, candidates for president are provided Secret Service protection. But not me.
Typical turnaround time for pro forma protection requests from presidential candidates is 14-days. After 88-days of no response and after several…
Kennedy’s uncle was 35th President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated on November 22, 1963 while riding in his motorcade in Dallas, Texas. His father was Robert F. Kennedy Sr, who served as United States attorney general in the Kennedy administration. He was assassinated at an event for his own presidential campaign on June 6, 1968. Kennedy was 9 at the time of his uncle’s assassination, and 14 at the time of his father’s.
In 2020, the Secret Service published an outline of criteria that must be met, per the Department of Homeland Security.
Candidates are required to formally announce their candidacy, have a national campaign apparatus, and receive a threat assessment by the Secret Service. Candidates must also poll at more than 15% for 30 consecutive days, or be the “formal or de facto” nominee of a major party, be an independent or third party candidate polling at 20% or more nationally for 30 or more days, or be running as vice president along a third party candidate with such polling.
Kennedy seems to meet this criteria. Despite the Democratic Party largely assuming a defensive posture around the presidential campaign of Joe Biden, Kennedy continues to poll in double digits against the incumbent.
A recent poll showed Kennedy at 16% to Biden’s 62%, down from his high water mark in the high teens or low 20s. However, polling also revealed that Kennedy has the highest popularity ratings of any declared candidate.
That Harvard/Harris poll found that 47% of voters hold a positive view of Kennedy, compared to 26% who hold an unfavorable view and 27% who have no opinion.
Only 39% of voters hold a positive view of Biden, compared to 53% who hold an unfavorable view and 8% who have no opinion. Clocking in closer to Kennedy, 45% of voters hold a favorable view of 45th President Donald Trump, but 53% of voters hold an unfavorable view and only 6% have no opinion.