Mike Pompeo is openly casting doubt on the conservative bonafides of his one-time boss, former President Donald Trump, ahead of a potential face-off in 2024.
During an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Pompeo talked about how a conservative president is needed to tackle the nation’s budget deficit and debt after years of neglect, including during the Trump administration.
Anchor Shannon Bream then asked Pompeo if he was saying Trump was not a “true conservative leader,” using her guest’s words to describe the kind of president he argued is necessary to attain fiscal responsibility.
Fox's Shannon Bream: "Are you saying that President Trump wasn't a true conservative leader?"
Former Trump CIA Director Mike Pompeo: "Six trillion dollars more in debt, that's never the right direction for the country." pic.twitter.com/bgdyRHRivf
— The Recount (@therecount) March 5, 2023
“Six trillion dollars more in debt, that’s never the right direction for the country,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo’s comments Sunday build upon remarks he delivered at Conservative Political Action Conference, chastising Trump for the nearly $8 trillion rise in the national debt during his presidency, largely attributed to coronavirus relief.
“I stare today at $31 trillion in debt and tell my son, ‘Make sure you work hard, because Social Security may just not be there for you,’” he said on Friday, according to The Hill.
“Every recent administration, Republican and Democrat alike, added trillions in dollars to our debt,” Pompeo continued. “That is deeply unconservative. [The] Trump administration, the administration I served, added $8 trillion in new debt. This is indecent and can’t continue. Earning back that trust will be hard work, it won’t just be a campaign speech.”
Meanwhile the United States is headed toward a debt default this summer unless Congress raises the debt ceiling.
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While Trump declared his candidacy for the White House in November, Pompeo has yet to announce a bid, though he has hinted at his interest in running.
“We need more seriousness, less noise, and leaders who are looking forward, not staring in the rearview mirror claiming victimhood,” Pompeo tweeted after Trump announced his third presidential campaign.
Pompeo is a former Tea Party Republican U.S. congressman who served in Trump’s administration as CIA director and then secretary of state.
If he entered the 2024 race for the GOP presidential nomination, Pompeo would join Trump, former South Carolina Governor and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.
Another Trump administration alumnus, former Vice President Mike Pence, is also considering a campaign for president.