Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dropped hints of a 2024 presidential run Monday night, even if his former boss also pursues the nation's highest office in two years.
During a speaking engagement in South Carolina, Pompeo stated that no other potential Republican candidate — including former President Donald Trump — would stop him from a White House run, should he throw his hat into the proverbial ring.
"If I come to believe that I ought to become president, that I have something to offer the American people, I will run no matter who all decides to get in and who else decides not to get in the race," Pompeo told the media.
Pompeo was secretary of state in the Trump White House for three years (April 2018-January 2021), and by most media accounts, Trump and Pompeo still have a workable relationship.
For example, on Monday night, Pompeo didn't hesitate to speak out against the FBI's Aug. 8 raid of Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, saying the Department of Justice's unprecedented move had the makings of a political stunt.
"This was a deeply politicized use of the FBI to raid a former president, a political opponent," said Pompeo, a former U.S. congressman from Kansas and CIA director. "It's something that's never happened in our nation before. There may well have been disputes about certain documents and the like, but there are methods to handle that."
On paper, presidential candidate Pompeo would have a tough time securing the Republican nomination during the 2024 primaries.
Trump currently leads the majority of polls highlighting the expected Republican candidates for 2024 — by an overwhelming margin.
According to Real Clear Politics, Trump has an aggregate lead of 28 percentage points over the next wave of GOP hopefuls, which might include Pompeo, former Vice President Mike Pence, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Trump also boasts 30-point-plus leads with prominent polls such as Politico/Morning Consult (+39), Emerson (+35), and Harvard-Harris (+33).
And from a Trump vs. DeSantis standpoint, Five Thirty-Eight, which tracks all the House, Senate, and gubernatorial races nationwide, has Trump as a 17.8-point favorite — when factoring in the averages of four sample polls.
In 2016, then-candidate Trump (1,543 total delegates) defeated Sen. Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich for the GOP nomination.
And in 2020, the incumbent President Trump hardly had competition among the Republican ranks, accounting for all but one of the party's 2,500 delegates.
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