NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Herman Cain is the first Republican presidential candidate this election cycle to receive Secret Service protection, according to media reports. ABC News reported that Cain asked for the security detail. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano spoke with the congressional advisory committee and authorized Cain's protection detail on Thursday. The reason why Cain needs the protection is unclear. There have been reports of death threats. Some reports point to a recent run-in with a reporter. Requests for comment from the Cain campaign weren't immediately returned. President Obama, when he was a senator running for president, received Secret Service protection beginning in May 2007, according to The Washington Post. -- Written by Alexandra Zendrian >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Alexandra Zendrian >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.