A former Secret Service agent who vowed to take a bullet for Presidents Obama and Bush is now trying to take Benjamin Cardin’s Senate seat.
Daniel Bongino spent 12 years with the Secret Service before he resigned in May to launch a Senate campaign to challenge the Maryland Democrat.
Bongino, 36, who is running as a Republican, told Fox News this week that his Secret Service experience qualifies him to handle the rough-and-tumble of the upper chamber.
“That job is high stress, high octane all the time and they force leadership on you,” he explained. “They don’t tolerate fools…If you don’t make it, you’re broken pretty quickly.”
Bongino spent three years protecting Bush and two years for Obama. He says Obama was a “wonderful guy” and that his political ideological differences with him aren’t personal.
But Bongino’s mission to defeat Cardin won’t be easy.
The freshman senator had a 48 percent overall approval rating in May 2010, according to the Washington Post. But congressional approval hit a new low at 12 percent, according to an Associated Press-GFK poll last month – a figure that Bongino will likely try to seize on.
Cardin’s camp, however, isn’t showing any signs of worry.
“The senator looks forward to having a debate about the issues with whoever the Republican nominee will be in 2012,” Cardin campaign spokeswoman Shelly Hettleman told FoxNews.com.
One of the issues that most certainly will be debated is Maryland’s new law offering in-state tuition breaks to certain illegal immigrants. The law was suspended last summer after opponents collected tens of thousands of signatures to force the issue onto the 2012 ballot for a referendum.
“It’s an issue about the law,” he said, comparing the process of obtaining citizenship to joining a club.
“We have rules,” he said. “Is citizenship worth something or is it now? Well it is worth something. It’s worth fighting for.”
“People fought and died for this country. It’s worth something,” he said. “This is our club. All we’re asking, just follow the rules. My wife did. It’s not complicated. It was a touching moment to watch her pledge allegiance to our flag.”