Saying his decision will be made in the spring, Pompeo explained that he has been conferring with his wife about vying for the White House and appeared to take a veiled dig at former President Donald Trump, calling for leadership that is not “staring in the rearview mirror claiming victimhood.”
“Our decision about whether that’ll be by putting ourselves forward in the election that’s ahead of us still is a decision to be made. But what happens today or tomorrow — what some other person decides won’t have any impact on that,” Pompeo told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday.
Refraining from chiding Trump outright, Pompeo appeared to take a subtle jab at his former boss, underscoring the need for more forward-looking leadership instead of victimhood politics.
“Goodness, I think he’s going to announce that he is intending to put himself forward to be president of the United States,” Pompeo said. “I served in the administration. I’m proud of the policies we laid out. We need more seriousness. We need less noise. We need steady hands. We need leaders that are looking forward, not staring in the rearview mirror claiming victimhood.”
Unlike some of his peers in the Trump administration, Pompeo has largely abstained from criticizing Trump publicly and had been widely viewed as a key ally during Trump’s White House days.
Since departing his role as secretary of state, Pompeo has crisscrossed Iowa and New Hampshire, states that vote early in the party’s primary process. He has also worked to build up his footprint in key states through his Champion American Values political action committee and book promotion.
His PAC has run ads in his home state of Kansas promoting his work in the Trump administration as well as Iowa and Florida, Business Insider reported. Digital ads for his book, Never Give An Inch, have been running in South Carolina, Iowa, Nevada, and New Hampshire. All of this has fed speculation that he is gearing up for a presidential run.
Trump has long given his faithful followers winks and nods that a third bid for the White House is forthcoming. For example, over the summer, he told New York Magazine that his mind on 2024 was already made up and only the question of when he’d announce was outstanding. He has already begun attacking some of his speculated GOP primary rivals, most notably Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who swooped to victory during the midterm elections even as his party dramatically underperformed expectations nationally. The Florida governor has polled as the greatest threat in a primary to Trump.
Should Trump declare Tuesday night, he will be the first major candidate to make a 2024 campaign official. President Joe Biden has voiced his “intention” to run in 2024, but he maintained he has not made a decision. Former Vice President Mike Pence recently indicated no decision has been made, and DeSantis has been mum as well.