After an initial speech of about 15 minutes, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spent almost an hour taking questions.
Here is a summary:
On China: “My theory is with China, distrust and then verify… That’s what it’s going to have to be with respect to the United States and the Chinese Communist Party – we’re going to win and they will ultimately lose.”
On 2020 Election: I wasn’t in the center of this, I was the SOS, so I wasn’t in the middle of this…I did believe firmly that the President had a responsibility and an obligation that he lived up to – to fight this as far as he could and as hard as he could in every single material way and they did that…The law passed in Georgia I think is a good one, watch what the Democrats are doing.”
Pompeo talked about efforts to unseat Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks. “This is a raw power grab and we can’t let it happen.”
Pompeo told the crowd not to let them be called racist. He said it is not racist to require an ID to vote or to believe only people legitimately on the voter rolls should vote. There should also be concern about mailing out ballots. The voter rolls have not been maintained well across the country, he added.
While 2024 speculation lingered in the air, Pompeo said his visit to Iowa is focused on 2022.
“My wife and I decided what could we do to keep working on the issues that matter to us most and we decided that we were going to make sure the total control in Washington D.C. was as short-lived as humanly possible,” he said.
President Biden being a trojan horse for the Left: When asked about whether President Joe Biden is a trojan horse for the Democrats, Pompeo said it’s important to focus on what Biden does rather than what he says.
“The actions they’re going to take are going to be fundamentally at odds with the values that we champion here in the United States,” he said.
On the racial rifts in China: “We have the most outrageous human rights violations since the 1930s in the world…Forced sterilizations, forced abortions – it is awful. And I declared that it was genocide because it is. These are the kinds of things that I think will cause the Chinese Communist Party real challenges.”
On the Trump administration’s work in Israel and the Middle East: “No one would’ve believed it. Even when we unveiled our peace plan, I remember the New York Times saying I was the worst Secretary of State in the history of America. I immediately began to scan the roster and identified at least two that I thought, ‘I’m better than that…’”
He said the U.S., Israel, United Arab Emirates, Moroccans, Sudanese, Bahrainis, Saudis and Omanis, are headed in one direction – understanding Iran is the largest threat in the region and a foreign policy based on hatred of the Jewish people and a desire to wipe Israel from the face of the earth is not rational.
On America First policy: “I’m very proud we had America First…but it doesn’t mean there aren’t friends and partners. The mistake that had been made, and I’m afraid we’re about to make that mistake again, is we put having these relationships above defending America. So, when you put climate change at the top of your foreign policy agenda, you can’t have America First at the top of your foreign policy agenda. Right? It’s about a globalist idea that says we’re going to go sign the Paris Climate Accords, which was the single biggest gift to the Chinese Communist Party you could imagine. Anybody think the Chinese are going to live up to their commitments in the Paris Climate Accord?”
On national debt and value of the dollar: “The dollar is pretty strong for a host of reasons. I think we’ve got runway, but when you see the Chinese reducing their purchases of U.S. securities…you know they think there’s an opportunity there. The day before they tried to take an online currency and attempt to get their counterpart to the federal reserve to certify this so they could conduct global transactions…We have to be serious about getting our fiscal house in order…Every time money goes to Washington, we lose just a little more of our liberty – just a little bit more of our capacity to govern our own lives in the way that we want to…We need to learn to say no as well and make sure that we get that part of our American power in line with reality.”
On energy policy: Pompeo said under President Trump, America became a net exporter of energy. And, he added, very seldom would he meet with a world leader and energy policy did not come up.
“It wasn’t always first, it wasn’t always second, but it was seldom far behind that,” he said.
Many countries that need energy want it to come from a country like America, not some other place. With John Kerry serving as Climate Czar, Pompeo predicted it would not be good for American energy and affordable energy at home.
On executive orders: As a private citizen, executive orders made Pompeo “pretty hacked off.” He’s also seen it as a member of Congress and twice as a member of a presidential administration.
“By the way, it’s not healthy when Republicans do it,” he said. “Our founders envisioned a model for a republic that we all know…it’s not good. There’s a lack of accountability, there’s a lack of transparency. It frankly allows presidents…to do far more things than intended.”
On holding government officials accountable: “My conclusion after seeing this up close and personal is the mode for accountability best able to deliver that accountability is in this room. That if we count on others to do this, if we count on the Department of Justice or – heck, I’ve been investigated by the State Department…I think I still am…accountability has to be you all. We need people who are engaged.”
Pompeo said if leaders do not do what they promised or use every tool available to do it, then they deserve to be held accountable.
On unchecked voter fraud: “You gotta get it right. In Kansas, we didn’t go do these things that were justified under the guise of COVID right, that we’re going to mail ballots to everyone…I’m convinced, I’ve seen great Republican governors and attorneys general across the country beginning to right the ship…You can tell that the Democrats are concerned that we’re going to be good at this and effectively fix the problem. HR 1 is designed to drive a dagger in the heart of what we’re doing at the state level.”
Pompeo said he is confident in Senators Grassley and Ernst to make sure HR 1 doesn’t destroy a “fundamental right” to allow states to dictate election law.
He called for paper ballots.
“What we don’t want is bad ballots, and bad ballots counted,” he said.
On a 2024 presidential campaign: “It’s March of 2021. We can see what the Biden team is up to. We can see the agenda, frankly, mostly they campaigned on it. There is an important checkpoint between now and 2024. These elections in 2022 will have a real impact on how 2024 ultimately goes as well and it’s why I’m out here today.”
On being more cordial in political conversation: “We need to do this by example ourselves…that doesn’t require you ever to stop defending the principles and values that you believe in and doing it with all the energy and all the vigor that you can muster. The fact that I try every day to get up and be a warrior with joy in my heart, doesn’t mean that I don’t have a dagger in my mouth. We have to win. These ideas matter.
“When I hear them talk about the 1619 Project and that somehow our founding was so fundamentally flawed that we can’t be a great nation…We’re right, they’re wrong about that. And we should just be clear…There is a generation that’s coming behind all of us and we need to win this argument with them as well and they need to see that this is a joyous enterprise, that this is an enterprise that understands that family and faith ought to be at the center of everything we do here in America.”
On the media being the No. 1 enemy: “Your point about the hypocrisy and imbalance in the national media is absolutely true. And if you come down to the level below that, McClatchy papers in Kansas – this is a Leftist trainwreck. Literally to get our voices out through these mediums proves incredibly difficult.
“One, acknowledge that it exists but never use it as an excuse for losing…The second piece is you go and try to change the environment. You go try and deliver in a way that gives us the capacity to reach out to different voices. You’re starting to see the proliferation of some conservative media outlets. Not just on TV…but you’re starting to see it online…Young people doing some amazing reporting that has a viewpoint that I don’t think of as conservative but as fact-based. This is really important. We should support them…we should support those folks who are committed to fairness, transparency and of equal presentation of the facts…this isn’t about trying to make sure that the media is all with a viewpoint that is ours, it’s about a media that’s reflecting a viewpoint that we all live every day. I was in meetings and I would pick up the Washington Post and I’d say, ‘I’m not sure what hallucinogen I must have been on because this did not happen. And reporters report it as fact and then it gets picked up on CNN and MSNBC and then it gets picked up all around the world as fact. And frankly, it just was not true.
“There are a lot of people working on this. We will all need to support them when they make financial risks connected to trying to build out fact-based communication systems both in print and online and in airwaves.”
On censorship: “I don’t have the answer to this one yet, but I know it’s real…I want to raise up one level because the electronic and the social media censorship we can see and we can feel and we can begin to address. The broader risk for censorship is happening in small rooms like this. It’s happening in the lunchrooms at work, it’s happening in some of our churches and it’s certainly happening on our campuses all across America…I’ve always been a believer in more ideas, good, we’ll battle it out and we’ll get to the best one. This theory is under assault. They want to take our voices down, they want to move them to the back corner…they’re afraid of the power of ideas. I believe this fundamentally comes from their knowledge that they are weak, that their ideas are weak and that they are not right…I always say answer wokeism with a smile and a direct response…I want everyone to be able to speak their mind in a way that is respectful and decent and tries to make an argument about the way for America to move forward.”
On the Equality Act: “This challenge from the Equality Act is real and is representative of what we were just talking about…This First Amendment thing, I think that’s what the Democrats call it…it’s not a thing. The capacity to assemble as we are here this morning, the capacity to speak our minds as I have done today, and the ability of us to practice our faith freely are at the center of who we are…Let’s just cut to the chase – in the end, the progressive movement seeks equality of outcomes. They want to demand and force a set of outcomes that are equal in their eyes. Our vision of equality is very different. Our vision of equality is let’s get after it together.”
When Pompeo ran his business, he said he was looking for the most talented people to do the job regardless of their education, race, gender or where they were from.
“We want to reward people who work hard, tell the truth and keep their faith,” he said. “And the Equality Act is fundamentally in opposition to that.”
On the social engineering of the military: Pompeo talked about military members confronting Tucker Carlson for his ideas.
“The military has always been this beacon that was transformative,” he said. “I am perfectly happy to have a diverse military as well.
“To move away from the singular mission…the military has only got one…it’s that when the Secretary of State fails, when the Secretary of State is unable to use diplomacy to get the means that America is prepared to do, the world needs to know that we have a strong and powerful military willing to go break things and kill people.
“If we start to turn away from that mission and trade it into just another laboratory of political correctness, we will diminish our capacity to do the things that our republic needs our military to do.”
On making sure the ultimate sacrifice is worthy of America’s effort today: “These leaders matter…In the end, what it requires and this comes from those of you in the room this morning, this requires a boldness and a fearlessness. And I think the last four years we had that. I think the last four years, we had a boldness and a fearlessness that was willing to fly on a plane and go across the world and look a leader in the face and say, ‘not happening.’ Or here’s the way we’re going to work together. But to do so in a way that was the finest tradition of America…I reminded them every day you had a duty to not go in and soft-peddle America…It’s not that we think we’re perfect…but never forget who we are and why we are and to boldly proclaim it. And if we do that, if we elected leaders who do that and we don’t let people off just because they’re from our party, we stand a far better chance of doing what it is that you all got out of bed on a Friday morning to come here and talk about.”