Republican presidential candidate and staunch libertarian Ron Paul says he has rejected protection from the Secret Service because he believes charging taxpayers for his personal security is a “form of welfare.”
“You know, you’re having the taxpayers pay to take care of somebody,” Paul told late night talk show host Jay Leno on Tuesday. “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,” he added.
The twelve-term congressman, who has decided to not seek re-election, did appear to put some thought into what his codename would have been had he accepted federal protection.
“Bulldog,” he told Leno. “I’d go after the Fed, and all that big spending.”
Paul also weighed in on rumors of an alliance between himself and GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney, saying their agreement “is very secret, because he and I don’t know a whole lot about it.”