04/19/2012 01:38 pm ET

Newt Gingrich Secret Service Costs Taxpayers Big Money

Newt Gingrich is reportedly still getting Secret Service protection, which costs taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars each day.

A source close to the Gingrich campaign told the Daily Caller that the candidate's personal detail recently had three people but has had "many more."

"Others on the campaign told me that some of the Secret Service members were even saying it was a waste of time and that he shouldn’t have it,” the source said. “Staff members thought it was ridiculous too, and just another example of Newt’s arrogance and self-importance."

Just this past weekend, a University of North Carolina student reported that "several Secret Service agents stopped me in my tracks" when he tried to ask Gingrich a question about comments made by Roger Ailes.

Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan said in 2008 that each candidate's detail cost $38,000 per day, a number he expected would rise to $44,000 in 2012, according to ABC News. Last year the House approved a $113 million budget for protection of the 2012 presidential candidates.

The Secret Service website details the criteria "major presidential candidates" must meet to qualify for protection:

Major presidential and vice presidential candidates, and their spouses within 120 days of a general presidential election. As defined in statute, the term "major presidential and vice presidential candidates" means those individuals identified as such by the Secretary of Homeland Security after consultation with an advisory committee consisting of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the minority leader of the House of Representatives, the majority and minority leaders of the Senate, and one additional member selected by the other members of the committee.

Gingrich started getting Secret Service protection in early March after requesting it in February. Mitt Romney was the first 2012 candidate to get a personal detail in February, followed by Rick Santorum, then Gingrich. Ron Paul has not received a Secret Service detail and he doesn't want one because it's a "form of welfare."