If this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference is any indicator, the Republicans will have a strong field of contenders running for president in 2024.
Former President Donald Trump announced his campaign in November. Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, threw her hat in the ring in February. Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy announced a run shortly after Haley. Corey Stapleton, former Montana secretary of state, is also in the race, according to Ballotpedia.
And that’s just for starters. On Friday at CPAC, Mike Pompeo, former CIA director and secretary of state under Trump, signaled that he may run for president in 2024.
In his speech, Pompeo blamed Republican losses in recent years on their own shortcomings and in doing so took swipes at his old boss.
“Every recent administration, Republican and Democrat alike, added trillions in dollars to our debt. That is deeply unconservative,” he said.
“The Trump administration, the administration I served, added $8 trillion in new debt. This is indecent and can’t continue.”
Pompeo: “The Trump administration, the administration I served, added $8 trillion in new debt. This is indecent.” pic.twitter.com/8EITpLEgh7
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 3, 2023
“We can’t become the left, following celebrity leaders with their own brand of identity politics, those with fragile egos who refuse to acknowledge reality,” he said earlier in the speech.
Potential GOP presidential candidate Mike Pompeo signals some new distance from Donald Trump:
“We can’t become the left, following celebrity leaders with their own brand of identity politics; those with fragile egos who refuse to acknowledge reality.” pic.twitter.com/maZP39yVyE
— The Recount (@therecount) March 3, 2023
Then he seemed to drop a hint about his potential candidacy.
“Over the last few years, I’ve heard some who claim to be conservative excuse hypocrisy by saying something like, ‘Well, we’re electing a president, not a Sunday school teacher.’ That’s true, but having taught Sunday school, maybe we could get both.”
Pompeo will face an uphill battle if he decides to enter the GOP field. Politico’s Natalie Allison noted that his CPAC speech garnered little applause. There wasn’t much of a crowd, either.
Mike Pompeo’s CPAC speech has not gotten much applause. The activist crowd here doesn’t seem interested in his self-described “Sunday school teacher” delivery.
(“You’re not going to cancel God” has been his most popular line) pic.twitter.com/b2lC3wiZqx
— Natalie Allison (@natalie_allison) March 3, 2023
For his part, Pompeo doesn’t seem all that worried about his chances of winning should he decide to run.
“There’s a long way to go,” Pompeo told The Associated Press. “There’s lots of ground to cover and I think everyone who decides to get in the race will have a lot of opportunity in the fall to make their case. I’ve been in straw polls. I’ve done great. I’ve done less great. I don’t think it says a whole lot about how this will end.”
Pompeo said he and his family are “within a couple months of a decision” on launching a bid for the White House.
Would Pompeo have a chance against Trump or Florida Gov. DeSantis, who led in a recent poll? I’m with Pompeo. It’s too early to tell. A lot can happen between now and the Republican primary.
If Pompeo does decide to run, he will be adding his name to a field of impressive contenders with heaps of political experience and clout. This bodes well for the Republicans in 2024. Not so much for the Democrats.
May the best Republican win.