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Republican Voters Don’t Have An Appetite For Neoconservatism, And Mike Pompeo’s Failed Presidential Aspirations Proves It

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo giving an interview on Fox News
Image CreditFox News/YouTube

After months of speculation, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Friday that he will not seek the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

During a recent interview on “Special Report with Bret Baier,” Pompeo revealed he and his wife had “come to the conclusion that we’re not going to join the race in 2024.”

“[W]hile we care deeply about America and the issues that I have been talking about this last year-and-a-half and, frankly, for decades, matter an awful lot, this isn’t our moment,” Pompeo said. The former secretary of state also released a pre-recorded video announcing the decision, adding that “the time is just not right.”

When pressed by Baier on who he plans to support in the 2024 GOP primary, Pompeo declined to answer, saying he will back whoever the nominee is and that the primary should not be “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,” he said. “And when I figure out who that right person is, I will … get behind them and do everything I can to help them.”

GOP presidential primary polling has regularly shown Pompeo with minuscule support among potential 2024 voters. In a recent survey, for example, only 1 percent of registered New Hampshire voters threw their support behind Pompeo, compared to 42 percent who said they’d back former President Donald Trump and 29 percent for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Conservatives Are Tired of Neocon Foreign Policy

On paper, Pompeo appears to have a fairly solid track record while serving as Trump’s secretary of state. During that time, he helped secure numerous diplomatic wins, including the Abraham Accords and raising global awareness of the threat communist China poses to the existing world order. He also helped facilitate the moving of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

So, why the limited support for a Pompeo presidency?

While numerous issues undoubtedly factor into voters’ candidate selection, it’s revealing how the top two contenders for the 2024 Republican nomination — Trump and DeSantis — are level-headed realists regarding U.S. foreign policy. When it comes to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, for instance, both have called on the Biden administration to find a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict.

Contrast such statesmanship with Pompeo, who frequently espoused neocon talking points to justify continued U.S. involvement in the matter. Just last week, Pompeo argued the “quickest” and “cheapest” way to end the ongoing war is to give Ukraine weapons to defend itself while baselessly asserting it would “cost the United States far more” if Russian President Vladimir Putin takes control of Kyiv.

Such a claim completely ignores how endlessly shipping weapons to Ukraine — the second most corrupt country in Europe — is becoming increasingly unfavorable among the American public. Moreover, it sidelines the fact that the U.S. has already contributed nearly $200 billion in promised or sent aid to Ukraine, which is more than any other country in the world.

Pompeo’s continued insistence that the U.S. further entrench itself in a conflict that doesn’t implicate U.S. national security isn’t just nonsensical because it’s strategically incorrect. It’s nonsensical because it’s out of touch with where the majority of Republican voters stand on the issue. After witnessing years of foreign interventionism under the Bush and Obama administrations, conservatives recognize that each global conflict is different and that there’s a time and place to use power in order to protect American interests.

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