Sep. 20—Former Secretary of State and possible Republican presidential contender Mike Pompeo said President Joe Biden’s Sept. 1 speech in Philadelphia “smeared half the country” and his presidency has been “woke, weak and waffling” to the current threats America faces.
Pompeo delivered the stinging criticism while making an appearance Tuesday at the Politics and Eggs series at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on the campus of Saint Anselm College.
“The president of the United States gave a speech that smeared half of the country … you are a threat to this nation, he essentially said. I can’t let that just slide by,” Pompeo said.
Biden’s speech treated the nation’s citizens as enemies, Pompeo said.
“We have seen the results of the ideas that he has put forward — woke, weak and waffling. Woke ideas, weak resolve and waffling leadership,” Pompeo said.
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine in response to the feckless leadership Biden showed in withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in June 2021, Pompeo said.
“Woke, weak and waffling allowed us to waffle in standing up to evil on the world stage,” Pompeo said. “He waffles between making statements that are broad and watches his own team undermine them.”
Pompeo quipped that if he had ever publicly contradicted Donald Trump while in office, he immediately would have become a “former” secretary of state.
During the address, Pompeo made many references to his recent weight loss.
“Before my diet, I liked waffle with my eggs, but it is a prescription for disaster if we truly believe in American greatness,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo criticized Biden for appearing at Independence Hall in front of the presidential seal and flanked by Marines.
“He frankly desecrated those symbols that day by giving one of the most divisive speeches that I can ever remember,” Pompeo said.
In the Philadelphia speech, Biden said strident followers of the former president are a threat to American democracy.
“Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic,” Biden said.
“Now, I want to be very clear, very clear up front: Not every Republican, not even the majority of Republicans, are MAGA Republicans; not every Republican embraces their extreme ideology,” Biden said. “I know because I’ve been able to work with these mainstream Republicans. But there is no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans, and that is a threat to this country.”
After his Tuesday speech, Pompeo told reporters he and his wife, Sally, were in the first-in-the-nation primary state “laying all the groundwork” for a White House run in 2024 should he make that decision after the midterm elections.
“I am here. It is not random,” Pompeo said.
As for the FBI raid at Trump’s former residence, Pompeo said it was wrong for Trump to have any classified documents in his possession.
“Let me add the raid on Mar-a-Lago was indecent, improper, historically unprecedented and horrible for our democracy,” Pompeo said. “It is possible there were two wrongs committed there.”
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had classified information “everywhere,” but no Justice Department ever engineered a search of her homes to retrieve those papers, he said.
Pompeo is not among the election deniers that used to work for Trump.
“I have been very clear… (Biden) is the president of the United States. In January 2025, I hope he will not be,” Pompeo said.
But he pushed back at one reporter who said Trump was among the most polarizing presidents in recent history.
“I think the most divisive president in my lifetime is the one who is serving,” Pompeo said.
While domestic issues dominate most presidential elections, Pompeo said the American people have come to appreciate that events abroad can dramatically alter the U.S. economy.
“I think the world has changed,” Pompeo said.
Matt Mayberry of Dover, a former vice chair of the Republican State Committee, said Pompeo would be a serious contender if he decides to run.
“I have always found him engaging and very personal. I hope he comes back again soon,” Mayberry said.