Mar 5, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Mike Pompeo takes a swipe at Trump policies amid rumors of 2024 bid

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized the Trump administration's track record on fiscal policy during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday."

Why it matters: The criticism from Pompeo — who served in the Trump administration — comes amid long-swirling speculation that he may be mulling a 2024 presidential run himself.

State of play: During his appearance on the program, Pompeo said he was "proud" of the Trump administration's work to secure the southern border and deter an attack by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Europe.

  • But Pompeo notably mentioned that over its four years, "the Trump administration spent $6 trillion more than it took in, adding to the deficit."
  • Asked by host Shannon Bream whether he would do a better job getting the U.S.' fiscal house in order than Trump did, Pompeo replied that a "President Pompeo or any conservative president" would do better on the issue than either Trump, President Obama or President Bush.
  • "$6 trillion more in debt. That’s never the right direction for the country," Pompeo said when pressed by Bream about whether he was saying Trump wasn't a "true conservative leader."

The big picture: During his appearance at CPAC on Friday, Pompeo spoke about the need for the GOP to move away from "celebrity leaders" with "fragile egos."

  • Asked about his comments during Sunday's program, Pompeo said his comments were meant to address the need for a "thoughtfulness and a weightiness and a seriousness that we've kind of moved away from."
  • "It's not about former President Trump, it's not about President Biden."

What's next: Pompeo did not explicitly address the prospect of a 2024 run, but noted that he and his wife are currently "trying to figure out what's next for us."

  • "In very short order we will figure that out and let anyone know," Pompeo said, adding news could come in the "next couple months."
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