Romney, Santorum Code Names Leaked

It's Javelin versus Petrus for the nomination

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 20, 2012 3:55 AM CDT

(Newser) – Can Javelin or Petrus do what Phoenix couldn't and beat Renegade? GQ, citing multiple campaign sources, says it has discovered the leading GOP candidates' Secret Service code names. Mitt Romney has chosen "Javelin," possibly in reference to a '60s muscle car made by the American Motor Corporation, which George Romney once ran, while Rick Santorum has picked "Petrus," the Greek word for rock and the Latin name of St. Peter, the first pope.

In the 2008 campaign, Obama's code name was "Renegade," while John McCain's was "Phoenix," a randomly generated name that he decided to stick with. The use of code names goes back to the days before communications were encrypted, and making them public isn't a big deal now, according to the Secret Service. "Given modern capabilities to secure communications through encryption, there is no longer any security relevance to protected call signs," a spokesman says.

Javelin looks on as Petrus makes a point during a debate.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
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