Pompeo goes after Trump while mulling presidential bid, says he’s ‘tired of losing’

Meg Kinnard/Associated Press file photo

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday fired a warning shot at former President Donald Trump, indicating he believed the former president was responsible for the Republican Party losing elections.

“We were told we’d get tired of winning. But I’m tired of losing,” Pompeo wrote. “And so are most Republicans.”

Though it did not mention Trump by name, it references a famous line Trump used on the campaign trail in 2016, when he would tell the crowd at his rallies that “we’re gonna win so much, you may even get tired of winning.” His comments came ahead of a speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting.

Trump, who launched a bid for the presidency in 2024 this week, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, another potential contender, are both scheduled to address the same meeting. The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Pompeo.

The tweet comes as Pompeo is laying the groundwork for a potential primary challenge to his former boss, who announced his candidacy for president in 2024. It is the second time Pompeo has appeared critical of Trump in recent days — he said the Republican Party needs a leader who doesn’t claim “victimhood” after Trump called himself a victim several times in his announcement.

Such an effort would be a long-shot. While Pompeo has already made trips to states that vote early in the nomination process like Iowa and spent much of 2022 endorsing Republican candidates, his efforts haven’t made much of an impression on voters so far. In early polling, Pompeo has averaged around 1.7%, according to RealClearPolitics, a site which aggregates polling data.

Still, Pompeo has created a political action committee, called Champion American Values, that he has used in attempt to win influence with conservatives. In another presidential campaign staple, Pompeo is writing a book, titled “Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love,” that will be released in January 2023.

Pompeo, who represented Wichita in the U.S. House for six years, served in high-level roles in Trump’s administration for nearly the entirety of his one-term presidency. Trump tapped him serve as his director of the CIA within weeks of winning the 2016 election and then in 2018 elevated Pompeo to secretary of state, fourth in line for the presidency. He was able to maintain the position in a cut-throat White House, where top officials were often dismissed at the whim of a mercurial president.

He stuck with Trump through the former president’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and, while some reports have said Pompeo talked about invoking the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office after the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, he did not resign in protest alongside other members of the Cabinet like former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

While much of the Republican Party came back to Trump after condemning him for the attack on the Capitol, few elected Republicans have been quick to endorse Trump in the early days of his 2024 presidential bid, including some of his most reliable allies in Congress.

At least two Kansas Republican members of Congress have avoided endorsing Trump in favor of Pompeo’s potential campaign — Sen. Jerry Moran and Rep. Jake LaTurner.

“Trump’s policies were really good for the country,” said LaTurner, a Republican who represents eastern Kansas. “But I think Mike Pompeo deserves the time and space to make this decision. Should he get in the race, he’ll have our full support.”