Tags: mike pompeo | newsmax | 2022 | 2024 | election

Pompeo to Newsmax: My First Priority Is '22

mike pompeo waves onstage
Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on Feb. 27, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By Monday, 29 March 2021 09:57 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Every list of prospective Republican presidential candidates for 2024 has Mike Pompeo at the top of the list, with the exception of former President Donald Trump.

Pompeo is no ordinary former Secretary of State. He served as Trump’s chief point man to implement America First policies, and was CIA director in the early days of the administration.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax, Pompeo insisted he is not thinking much at all about 2024.

Instead, he says he’s intently focused on next year's midterm elections, to make sure the GOP has a big comeback and takes control of both Houses.

"I’m going to occupy my time in the fight making sure we retake the House and hopefully the Senate as well come 2022," he told Newsmax.

"A Republican Congress will literally provide a place, a backstop against what it appears President Biden is intent on doing — which is, in large measure as I can tell, allowing the progressive wing of the Democratic Party to dominate his domestic agenda here at home."

Recalling his years as a Republican congressman from Kansas (2010-17), Pompeo stressed that "[w]e have to get the majority back.  If we get that back, and in the Senate as well, it will be transformational for the American people."

Pompeo, who expects to soon release a list of candidates for whom he will stump, kicked off his ’22 agenda with a trip to Omaha, Nebraska, to raise money for Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb.

"Don's an old Air Force general and I'm an old soldier," Pompeo said.

"I’m going to help Don and others be in a position so that they can be victorious in summertime and at the polls next November."

Like Trump, Pompeo pulls no punches about his intention to get involved in contested Republican primaries on behalf of candidates he feels strongly about.

As an example, he noted "I’ve endorsed my friend [former White House Press Secretary] Sarah Sanders in her race for governor of Arkansas." 

Sanders is in a primary race with fellow conservative and State Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

Pompeo emphasized his view that contested primaries are a good thing.

"It’s glorious when you have multiple conservative candidates. They should make their ideas known and they should make the case both for the movement and the things they can do — not just what they believe, which matters an awful lot, but what they would aim for will actually impact on."

The former secretary of state quoted a hero of his, the late author and pundit William F. Buckley Jr., that conservatives should support "the most rightward, viable candidate."

"In the end, it’s results that count and outcomes that matter," he said, "And then, it’s always important, and this goes back to the days of Bill Buckley — get that someone who can win."

Pompeo is mum on his presidential plans, but like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan as private citizens gearing up to run for president, he expects to put together a team that will help him as he stumps throughout the country for House and Senate hopefuls. 

He says his chief political adviser so far is his wife Susan.

Pompeo also put in a strong endorsement of RNC Chairman Ronna McDaniel.

"I think she’s done an excellent job," he told Newsmax. "When I was national committeeman, I always wanted outsiders to leave me alone and not tell me how to vote.  But I think she’s done a really fine job as leader of the Republican Party and is helping us be successful."

Recalling a luncheon with me a decade ago in which he discussed the influence of Ayn Rand’s libertarian magnum opus "Atlas Shrugged" on his life, Pompeo underscored his belief in individual freedom.

"As someone who believes deeply in limited and small government, I have a feeling that most of us who come at this from an understanding of individual liberty as the center point of our nation have a libertarian streak.  

"Whether that stems from the things we read when we were younger or the observations that we made when we were older, that families live out their lives without government interference is so important. I certainly hope so in my heart and I hope it’s an important part of the conservative movement today."

Any interview with Pompeo inevitably works its way around to the possibility of his running for president in 2024. 

While not discussing anything specific, the Kansan did volunteer that "when the time is right for Susan and I to think our way through [a presidential run], we’ll do that. 

"I have people come up — and they’re certainly kind and generous — and they say ‘Mike, you should do this.’  While we appreciate that, we know there’s a time and a place for a decision and it’s not just yet."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Every list of prospective Republican presidential candidates for 2024 has Mike Pompeo at the top of the list, with the exception of former President Trump. Pompeo is no ordinary former Secretary of State.
mike pompeo, newsmax, 2022, 2024, election
Monday, 29 March 2021 09:57 AM
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