Pompeo rallies local Republicans, offers assessments on political affairs

Mike Pompeo addresses Allen County Republicans on April 26, 2022.
Mike Pompeo addresses Allen County Republicans on April 26, 2022.(WPTA)
Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 9:45 AM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Former CIA Director and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shared tales from his time at the White House and encouraged local Republicans in their efforts to retake leadership in Washington during his keynote address Tuesday night at the annual Allen County Lincoln Day Dinner.

Pompeo’s speech headlined a night that drew more than 600 people -- including many candidates on the ballot this year -- to the Grand Wayne Center in downtown Fort Wayne. Pompeo had been announced last year as the big-name guest at the event, and his speech touched on matters on the national political stage and beyond.

In his opening remarks, Pompeo touted US Rep. Jim Banks, who is seeking reelection, and quipped of a phone conversation with former President Donald Trump in which Trump referred to a Washington Post story that noted their close relationship -- with a punchline that Pompeo offered to Trump: “I don’t think they meant it as a compliment.”

On more serious matters, Pompeo, looking back on his time as the nation’s top diplomat, noted that the country had been able to avoid sending men and women into areas of conflict.

“But we kept you safe and secure for four years,” he said, adding that he was honored for “every second I got to serve as your Secretary of State. I didn’t get it right every day... but know that every place we went, we were proud to represent the United States, and I never once traveled to anyplace in the world to apologize for a single thing.”

On current affairs, Pompeo criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin (”He hasn’t changed one inch.”) and suggested that China was positioning itself as the most serious threat to the United States, economically and militarily.

Pompeo did not address his own political future in his remarks. He has been touted by some as a possible future presidential candidate, and his active role in Republican politics since leaving office have kept a high profile.

Earlier in the evening, Sen. Todd Young and Sen. Mike Braun addressed the room via recorded video, as did Banks. Young and Banks are up this year for reelection and are unopposed in the Republican primary.

More than 600 people attended the 2022 Lincoln Day Dinner at the Grand Wayne Center.
More than 600 people attended the 2022 Lincoln Day Dinner at the Grand Wayne Center.(WPTA)

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