Former Vice President Joe Biden said Democratic presidential candidates might need the Secret Service, citing the protester who invaded the stage he and his wife were on earlier this week before being tackled by a campaign adviser.
“That’s something that has to be considered the more outrageous it becomes,” Biden, 77, said during an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show on Thursday.
Biden said he was “worried about” his wife, Jill Biden, who grappled with the protester before campaign adviser Symone Sanders tackled the woman.
“She did the same thing at another event in New Hampshire when a guy I didn’t even see him coming behind me … and she runs up and grabs him,” Biden said, referring to his wife.
“She and my daughter have more courage than I think. Anyway that’s what I worry about, I worry about Jill,” he added.
Biden said it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the remaining candidates require protection by the Secret Service, a federal law enforcement agency that protects top officials in America.
People aren’t permitted to gain access to stages the candidates are on. The protester in Los Angeles held a sign reading “Let Dairy Die” before Jill Biden grabbed the woman and Sanders rushed over and tackled her. A second protester was also blocked by Jill Biden.
“The last thing we need is anybody hurt,” Biden said.
Robert Gibbs, a press secretary during President Barack Obama’s administration, called for Secret Service for both Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) after the Los Angeles situation.
“What happened tonight was nothing short of genuinely scary,” Gibbs said.
In a letter to acting Department of Homeland Secretary Chad Wolf this week, the House Committee on Homeland Security asked for Secret Service for Sanders and Biden, saying they “appear to satisfy” several criteria outlined in guidelines issued in 2017.
According to the Congressional Research Service, the Secret Service is authorized to protect major presidential and vice presidential candidates within 120 days of the general presidential election, as well as the candidates’ spouses. The general election is slated for Nov. 3.
In a statement to CNN, a spokeswoman for the Secret Service said teams are ready to protect candidates.
“Our men and women stand ready to execute this vital mission when a candidate makes a request through the Secretary of Homeland Security in consultation with the Congressional Candidate Advisory Panel,” the spokeswoman said.