'Always Up For a Fight'! Mike Pompeo Hints at Running For The White House in 2024

Published March 4th, 2021 - 11:12 GMT
Ex-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 27, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Begun in 1974, CPAC brings together conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders to discuss issues important to them. Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has hinted at a 2024 White House run saying he is 'always up for a fight' and 'cares deeply about America'.

Pompeo, 57, would not rule out the possibility he will join the presidential race if Donald Trump doesn't run in 2024 in an interview on Fox News' Hannity Wednesday night. 

'Say there is a scenario that Donald Trump makes a decision that he is not going to run in 2024, would you consider getting in that race?' Hannity asked him. 

'I am always up for a good fight,' Pompeo responded. 

'I care deeply about America. You know I have been part of the conservative movement for an awfully long time now. I aim to keep at it.'

When Hannity responded that he didn't 'know how to interpret that' and would 'take that as a strong maybe', Pompeo laughed, adding: 'That's perfect.'

Pompeo, who spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference Saturday, is widely thought to be considering a play for the White House in 2024.

In the days since Trump has left the White House, Pompeo has worked to keep his name in the Republican party and in the headlines making several media appearances, joining fundraising efforts and showing signs he is rekindling his old campaign committee.   

He has been vocal of his criticism of the new Biden administration while promoting and defending the work of the Trump administration.  

'We took good care of America. I watch what this administration is doing. It appears to look like a blame America first pattern that has begun to take place,' he told Hannity.

Pompeo said hostile world leaders will be watching Joe Biden 'closely' and said the president's 'weakness' could pose a 'risk' to American troops.

'World leaders and my counterparts all across the world are watching very closely. The senior leadership across the world watch every statement, every move. 

'They see what the patterns are like, the kinds of behaviors they exhibit when times are tough and when the pressure is really on,' he said. 

'When the United States exhibits weakness it creates real risk for our soldiers, sailors airmen, marines all across the world. 

'Weakness begets war and strength determines whether an adversary is going to be deterred and whether allies really want to toss in with us when the times get difficult.'  

Pompeo added that the 'greatest threat' to the US is the Chinese communist party.

'They present the most sustained threat to our fundamental way of life in the United States of America. I hope the administration take the threat seriously,' he said.

'The American people deserve it and I know they will demand it.' 

Pompeo's criticism of China and his history taking a tough stance with the nation under Trump could be a popular move among conservative Republicans that the former diplomat may be seeking to capitalize on.

Around three million fundraising texts sent this month by the National Republican Congressional Committee had Pompeo's name to them and also brought up the topic of China.

'It's Mike Pompeo. The Democrats won't stand up to China. Will you, Friend? 5X match give to restore a USA First agenda,' the texts read, according to Axios

The texts are part of the campaign for the House Republicans to retake the lower chamber.

The move by the former US diplomat to become the name behind these fundraising efforts is adding to speculation of a White House run.

Meanwhile, he also incorporated an entity called Kansas CNQ LLC in Virginia last month, with the CNQ an acronym for 'Courage Never Quits'. 

It is not clear what the entity is but the phrase is a reference to the coat of arms of the former US Army officer's class at West Point.

A recent filing with the Federal Election Commission also suggests Pompeo is reviving his old campaign committee 'Pompeo for Kansas' from his time as a House Republican.

The filing, seen by Salon, shows the 2020 year-end report for the committee was amended on February 9 - almost four years after the campaign went dormant when he left Congress in 2017. 

Experts on FEC compliance and election law told Salon the timing suggests he is reviving his campaign.

'The first thing you do when you revive a dormant campaign committee is to review all the bank statements for the period when the committee was dormant and reconcile them with the FEC reports,' a top campaign finance attorney said. 

'The Pompeo campaign did that and found out that the figures didn't match — the campaign committee had more money in the bank than it had reported to the FEC.'  

Meanwhile, his fiery speech at CPAC on Saturday further cemented rumors he plans to run in 2024 as he hit out at Joe Biden's foreign policy while defending Trump's and taunted dead Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. 

'What's good news today for me is when you're a diplomat... you have to stay in your lane. I don't have that. I'm not a diplomat. I'm going to let it rip,' he said.

He told the crowd that, as secretary of state, he had 'sent messages repeatedly to bad guys around the world that if you touch an American, you'll pay dearly'.

The former top US diplomat then boasted about Soleimani's killing in a US air strike in January 2020, which was carried out under Trump's orders in a move that threatened to spark war between the US and Iran.  

'So how many of you remember Qasem Soleimani? Allah rest his soul,' Pompeo mocked. 

'He didn't cause trouble for Americans ever again.' 

Pompeo went on to boast how his work had made him unpopular with Iran and China. 

'The Chinese have sanctioned me [and] the Iranians don't think so much of me either,' he said.

'But I'm proud of our fight... we have upended the status quo.'  

Pompeo also defended the Trump administration's aggressive stance toward those who would hurt Americans.

'I sent messages repeatedly to bad guys around the world that if you touch an American, you'll pay dearly,' he told the crowd. 

'America First secures our freedom and the entire world benefits when America is fearless, bold and strong.'   

Several other rumored 2024 hopefuls also took to the stage at CPAC in Orlando, Florida, including South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Trump also teased the possibility of another bid at the Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend, where he continued to push his false claims he won the last election by saying he would 'beat' the Democrats for a 'third time'.  

Trump told the crowd his wife Melania would be 'the future first lady' and that he would 'beat' the Democrats for a 'third time' - pushing his false claims that he beat Joe Biden. 

'Actually as you know, [the Democrats] just lost the White House, but it's one of those things,' he said.

'But who knows, who knows, I may even decide to beat them for a third time.'

He added: 'And I want you to know that I'm going to continue to fight right by your side, we will do what we've done right from the beginning, which is win.'  

Trump was the top pick in a 2024 presidential straw poll among attendees with 55 percent of the vote. 

The poll also asked respondents to rank their picks if Trump doesn't run. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis gained 43 percent of the vote, Noem 11 percent, Donald Trump Jr. 8 percent and Pompeo and Cruz tied on 7 percent. 

Before working under the Trump administration, Pompeo was congressman of Kansas's fourth congressional district from 2011 until 2017.

In January 2017 he was appointed by Trump as CIA director before being nominated and confirmed as secretary of state in 2018.

He quickly carved out a reputation as one of the most loyal members of Trump's administration.   

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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