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Mike Pompeo will not run for president in 2024, stunning many political observers

By Savannah Hamilton
|
April 16, 2023

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Friday that he will not be running in the 2024 presidential election, explaining his reason as a “personal” choice. Pompeo and his wife Susan said they “can best serve in roles [they’ve] been in before — as parents, Sunday school teachers, community leaders, and business leaders.”

After long consideration, Pompeo explained, “The time is not right for me and my family.”

Aside from serving as Secretary of State, Pompeo has held numerous public service roles throughout his career, including being the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, a member of the US House of Representatives, and a soldier.

“I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to advance America in a way that fits the time and the moment,” he stated, and later suggested that he may run in the future:

“To those of you this announcement disappoints, my apologies. And to those of you this thrills, know that I’m 59 years old. There remain many more opportunities for which the timing might be more fitting as presidential leadership becomes even more necessary.”

Who Is Mike Pompeo?

Before politics, Pompeo graduated at the top of his class from the U.S. Military Academy in 1986 and spent five years on active duty, serving as a cavalry officer and commanding tank movements along the border between Western and Eastern Europe. 

He later went on to earn a law degree from Harvard and founded two businesses in Wichita, Kansas. One in aerospace and the other in petroleum equipment manufacturing.

In 2010, Pompeo won a seat as a Representative in Kansas’s 4th district, which he retained for four consecutive terms between 2011 and 2017. During this time, he also served on the Intelligence Committee and the Select Committee where he was best known for the investigation of the 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Pompeo is considered a tough and straightforward person with great leadership skills. He has repeatedly called out China’s human rights abuses and argued for imposing additional sanctions on Iran.

He has also always supported the Republican party and, unlike Trump’s other rivals, Pompeo has never spoken ill of the former president. Pompeo even recently referred to Trump as a “great boss.”

It’s Not a Competition

When asked by Fox News host Bret Baier if Donald Trump’s candidacy announcement factored into his decision, Pompeo denied it. 

At the same time, despite being known for being an ally of the former president, Pompeo refused to say whether he will be endorsing Trump or another Republican candidate in the upcoming election.

He did say that if he “figure[s] out who that right person is,” he will “get behind them and do everything [he] can to help them.”

“We will see how it plays out,” Pompeo said, adding, “It’s not about any one person. I want to find that person who can not only talk about the things that matter to every family in America, but who can actually build an organization, create a team, and deliver that for the American people. That’s what matters to me.”

Although his statement suggested that he may not be supporting Trump in this run, Pompeo did not oppose the idea of Trump getting a second term, saying that it is up to the American people to decide.

“I think [Americans are] looking for someone who can clearly articulate their vision for what parents ought to be doing to help their kids be successful in schools and how we take back crime from our streets and cities,” he said.

Pompeo also added that he doesn’t “know if that will end up being President Trump that the American people choose, or if that’s who our party will choose to be its nominee.”

As of the writing of this article, the two confirmed Republican candidates running in the upcoming presidential election include former President Donald Trump and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is considered to be Trump’s key rival, and former Vice President Mike Pence are also rumored to be announcing their candidacy soon.