Ron Paul said on Tuesday that he skipped out on Secret Service protection because "it's a form of welfare."
"You know, you're having the taxpayers pay to take care of somebody and I'm an ordinary citizen and 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. It's a lot of money," the presidential candidate told comedian Jay Leno.
The Texas congressman opted out of Tuesday's Illinois primary and instead spent the day in L.A. and guest starred on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."
Although he refuses any Secret Service protection, Paul said he still has a code name picked out for himself.
"Bulldog," the congressman answered when Leno asked what top secret name he would want.
GQ reported that Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have chosen the Secret Service code names of "Javelin" and "Petrus" for themselves, respectively.
According to law, the Secret Service is authorized to protect "major presidential and vice presidential candidates and their spouses within 120 days of a general presidential election."
The Secretary of Homeland Security, with the help of an advisory committee, decides whether someone is a "major candidate" and when the protection should be administered.
by RTT Staff Writer
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