Mike Pompeo hints at 2024 presidential bid if Trump chooses not to run: 'I'm always up for a good fight'
Speculation was rife over the political ambition of former secretary of state who told Fox News that he deeply cares about America's conservative movement
He was one of the few survivors in the Donald Trump administration and continued to show unflinching support for the former president, who often courted controversy. Now, former secretary of state Mike Pompeo has hinted at a possible run for the presidency in 2024 saying that he is always up for a good fight. Pompeo’s words would make the plot more interesting ahead of the 2024 presidential battle as the names of Trump and former UN ambassador Nikki Haley are also doing the rounds.
On Wednesday, March 3, Pompeo appeared on Fox News where the host, Sean Hannity, asked him whether he would consider running for the post if Trump chooses not to. “I’m always up for a good fight,” he responded.
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The former CIA chief then added: “I care deeply about the American conservative movement for an awfully long time now. I aim to keep at it.” Pompeo, who served as the secretary of state between April 2018 till Trump’s term got over in January, gave the hint less than a week after making an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, where Trump also made his first major speech post his presidency. Like his former boss, Pompeo also slammed the current administration of President Joe Biden — particularly on the foreign policy issues — and defended the actions he took as the secretary of state.
“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. The Chinese have sanctioned me. The Iranians don’t think so much of me either. But I’m proud of our fight... we have upended the status quo,” Pompeo said in a fiery speech at the CPAC.
Speculation was always rife over Pompeo's plan
Speculation over Pompeo positioning himself as a probable candidate for the 2024 presidential election is not new. In September last year, The Straits Times said in a report that “there is a growing understanding among political pundits that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is positioning himself for a run at the White House in 2024”.
“Those who know him have little doubt about his political ambition, which he implies in private conversations, former diplomats say. Mr Pompeo's recent theatrical appearance at the Republican National Convention — beaming in from a rooftop in Jerusalem to support Mr Trump — was both loaded with symbolism and unprecedented for a secretary of state, and only supported the speculation,” the report added.
In December, Pompeo gave a speech at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, ahead of the Senate run-off elections where he requested American universities to scrutinize China’s assistance and students, cautioning that Beijing was eyeing stealing of innovation. Pompeo has always been critical of countries such as China and Iran during his tenure as the secretary of state and played a key role in making Trump’s meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un a reality. Vanity Fair reported on Pompeo’s event with a report titled ‘MIKE POMPEO’S GEORGIA PIT STOP LOOKS LIKE A 2024 DRY RUN’.
Chinese media mocks Pompeo's ambition
China’s Global Times, on the other hand, mocked the possibility of Pompeo emerging as a potential presidential candidate saying the latter “doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of running for president in 2024”.
“Pompeo himself has no influence at all. He seemed to have some power in the past four years. That is all because of his position as the US secretary of state. Without the title, his rhetoric has no weight,” Global Times said in January. Pompeo returned to the political fray soon after Trump's term concluded, making some believe that he is working towards realizing his dream of becoming the president. The former secretary of state has, over the past month, helped the House Republican fundraising initiatives to regain a majority in the mid-terms next year.
Among those who attended the recent CPAC, Trump was the top pick in a presidential straw survey with 55 per cent support. And when the poll asked the respondents their picks if Trump decided against running for the presidency again, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis got 43 per cent of the votes, followed by South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (11 per cent), Donald Trump Jr (8 per cent) and Pompeo and Texas Senator Ted Cruz (7 per cent each).
Trump though has not confirmed whether he would run for the White House in 2024 but he has not ruled himself out either. He though pledged that he would not form a new party and remain in the GOP and pursue his MAGA dream.