About 150 Iowans packed the Iowa Machine Shed early Friday morning to hear from former Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.
Pompeo served under President Donald J. Trump as Director of the CIA from 2017-18 and then as the Secretary of State from 2018-21. Prior to that he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, a Kansas representative on the RNC and a member of the Italian American Congressional Delegation.
A member of the Tea Party movement and a former critic of President Trump, Pompeo ended up being one of Trump’s strongest allies.
The West Point graduate and former editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy as well as the Harvard Law Review told those in attendance he was in Iowa to defend and champion the values the crowd cares about – American values.
Pompeo said he was “thrilled” to serve President Trump. He hinted right away at the minds wondering if Pompeo was visiting Iowa to test the waters for a 2024 Presidential run.
“I see a lot of cameras in the back, they think there’s going to be some big announcement,” he said. “You know, we’re in Iowa after all. But my announcement today is really about you. And what I want to talk about is you.”
Pompeo joked about his first run for office – becoming a member of his Home Owner’s Association.
“I was not happy,” he said. “And then I wasn’t happy because I won.”
He quickly returned to a more serious tone in which he vowed victory was in store for those who share the same beliefs.
“There is no doubt in my mind that our ideas are right, our values are correct, our understanding of our founding as the most remarkable thing that has happened ever to a government formation – our founders had it right, this is a nation that is most unique and special in the history of civilization,” he said. “And if we stay at it, we will prevail.”
Right away he vowed not to turn to a single tab or anything in a notebook, poking fun at President Joe Biden’s press conference on Wednesday.
“If I can’t answer from here we’ve got challenges,” he said, pointing at his head. “The work that I had the privilege to do these last four years mattered an awful lot.”
Pompeo highlighted his work in protecting the southern border.
“That was hard work, it was complicated work, but President Trump was committed to it,” he said. “We delivered a really good outcome for the United States and you can see what happens when somebody willy-nilly, without any thought undoes it. This is an enormous challenge, enormous crisis we face on our southern border today.”
He said he is hopeful they did not reverse it just because it was the “Trump/Pompeo” policy.
“We had put America first and we got it right,” he said.
Pompeo highlighted his work in North Korea and the Trump administration’s accomplishments in the Middle East.
The greatest threat and concern, though, was getting it wrong “at home.”
“The biggest risk to our republic is from a failure of our institutions to effectively deliver good outcomes for the American people,” he said. “A failure of our democracy, to get our schools wrong – and some of the things we are teaching in our schools today are crazy on steroids. If we get it wrong here at home, that undoubtedly presents the greatest risk.”
Pompeo hit Democrats on their lack of understanding of the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party.
“The Chinese Communist Party wants to undermine the way we think about the world,” he said. “They’ll use every tool that they have.”
Only President Trump would’ve given Pompeo the permission needed to address some of the threats they tackled from the CCP.
“This will be the challenge of our time but know this, the Chinese Communist Party wants to take apart our republic and we can’t let it happen,” he said.