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Politics Mike Pompeo leans on Trump legacy to establish 2024 bona fides

18:32  02 march  2021
18:32  02 march  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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ORLANDO, Florida Obscured by the reemergence of former President Donald Trump, there was another coming out party with 2024 implications during a weekend political conference in Florida, as Mike Pompeo mingled with conservative activists and gave his pitch to take the reins of the GOP a test run.

Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump are posing for a picture © Provided by Washington Examiner

Trump’s speech brought down the house like no other Republican who trekked to central Florida for the Conservative Political Action Conference, the first major GOP-aligned event since the 45th president left office. But Pompeo, his former secretary of state and a possible 2024 contender, enjoyed among the more enthusiastic receptions from the CPAC crowd. Folksy and inoffensive, Pompeo captured the audience with personal stories and tales from Trump’s Cabinet while claiming the mantle of heir apparent.

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Pompeo’s son, Nick, introduced his father, the 70th secretary of state, as “America’s first ‘America First’ secretary of state,” cloaking him in the brand Trump chose for his agenda. And Pompeo used his 25-minute address to regale in Trump’s accomplishments and to warn that President Biden threatens to reverse gains made domestically and overseas. “America First is right for America,” he said. “It’s right for each of us.”

Trump cast a long shadow at CPAC, where he made his first public appearance before an audience since exiting the White House in January, and teased a third presidential bid.

Attendees proudly donned Trump paraphernalia while listening to speeches and panel discussions claiming the November election was stolen, reaffirming their belief that Biden is an illegitimate president. And despite losing reelection and presiding over the loss of Republican majorities in the House and Senate, Trump was the top choice of conservative activists to be the GOP nominee for president in 2024, according to the CPAC straw poll. Other top choices were all Trump-aligned Republicans.

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Pompeo, 57, was one of them, coming in fourth with 7% of the vote.

That finish put the former secretary of state, CIA director, and Kansas congressman in a tie with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, runner-up for the nomination in 2016, and behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, and Donald Trump Jr., the 45th president’s eldest son. In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Pompeo did not rule out running for president in 2024 but said his immediate priority was helping Republicans win control of Congress in 2022.

“I care deeply about America. America has been enormously good to me and to my family. I have an obligation to stay in the fight, and I intend to do it,” Pompeo said following his speech. “What form that will take? Goodness knows, precisely.”

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Before departing CPAC, Pompeo huddled with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, a colleague in Congress for six years. Pompeo said the two discussed ways he might assist in the party’s midterm election effort and that he expects to campaign on behalf of GOP House candidates. This is the path taken by another ex-Trump Cabinet official eyeing the presidency, former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

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In another move that suggests presidential ambitions, Pompeo took the time while in Florida, a key battleground state, to attend Sunday services at a Baptist church in Orlando, where CPAC moved this year from its usual spot near Washington, D.C., because of coronavirus gathering restrictions. “It was a blessing to worship with fellow believers,” Pompeo tweeted, along with a few pictures. “Great music and loved the Italian bass player!”

Pompeo, often gruff in interactions with reporters, is a skilled retail politician and, although not a soaring orator, is adept at holding an audience’s attention.

“I just love him. That’s all I can tell you,” said Vevia, a CPAC attendee who declined to give her last name. Vevia lives in Oklahoma but resided in Kansas during Pompeo’s first campaign for Congress in 2010. “He’s got a great connection with the crowd,” she said after his address. “It’s obvious. If you’re in there, you know it.”

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Pompeo, a trusted Trump adviser, spent four years in the administration, serving as director of the Central Intelligence Agency before moving to the State Department. Pompeo formed a corporation, Kansas CNQ LLC, to serve as a conduit for income from paid speeches. He recently joined the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank, and is living in Virginia, although he said he expects to split time between the commonwealth and Kansas.

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Tags: News, Campaigns, 2022 Elections, 2024 Elections, Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, CPAC

Original Author: David M. Drucker

Original Location: Mike Pompeo leans on Trump legacy to establish 2024 bona fides

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usr: 3
This is interesting!