LAS VEGAS – Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insists that former President Donald Trump‘s announcement launching a 2024 campaign won’t impact his decision on whether he’ll also jump into the burgeoning White House race.
Asked by Fox News if his former boss’ move on Tuesday would be a factor in his own decision, Pompeo quickly answered “none” during a sit-down interview with Fox New Digital on the sidelines of the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“If you put yourself forward to be a candidate for President of the United States, you damn well better believe that you got the spine of steel the intellectual capability and the temerity to be the commander in chief for the most important country in the history of civilization. And if you believe that it shouldn’t matter who the heck gets in the race, if you’re the only one or if there’s 15 of you,” Pompeo said.
“Who else decides to get in the race won’t impact our decision… There’ll be lots of folks who think about it. There’ll be a handful who get in I’m sure, but the decisions those folks make will be independent of the decision that we make,” Pompeo added.
Pompeo, an Army officer on the front lines of the Cold War in Germany who was later elected to Congress from Kansas and served as CIA director and later as America’s top diplomat in the Trump administration, crisscrossed the country the past year and a half on behalf of fellow Republicans running in 2022 midterm elections. During his travels, he made numerous stops in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada — the first four states to vote in the GOP presidential nominating calendar.
Pompeo’s political action committee went up with ads in the early voting states, another sign he’s seriously mulling a White House bid. Pompeo, a Fox News contributor, recently said that “we are doing the things that one would do to be ready to make such an announcement and then to engage with the American people on the ideas that we believe matter.”
Asked Friday about his timetable to make a 2024 decision, he told Fox News “we’re still working our way through. We figured by the first quarter next year we need to be hard at it if we’re going to do it.”
Minutes later, speaking in front of the crowd of high-powered GOP activists and donors at the RJC dinner, Pompeo joked that he was “the warmup act tonight” for former Vice President Mike Pence, who was set to follow him at the podium.
“Who knows, the next time we’re together we could be on the stage,” Pompeo joked. “Who knows who will be between us and what nicknames we’ll have,” he added,…