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Pompeo says Trump’s announcement has no impact on his own 2024 decision

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insists that former President Donald Trump‘s announcement launching a 2024 campaign won’t impact his decision on whether he’ll also jump into the burgeoning White House race.

Asked by Fox News if his former boss’ move on Tuesday would be a factor in his own decision, Pompeo quickly answered “none” during a sit-down interview with Fox New Digital on the sidelines of the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“If you put yourself forward to be a candidate for President of the United States, you damn well better believe that you got the spine of steel the intellectual capability and the temerity to be the commander in chief for the most important country in the history of civilization. And if you believe that it shouldn’t matter who the heck gets in the race, if you’re the only one or if there’s 15 of you,” Pompeo said.

“Who else decides to get in the race won’t impact our decision… There’ll be lots of folks who think about it. There’ll be a handful who get in I’m sure, but the decisions those folks make will be independent of the decision that we make,” Pompeo added.

PENCE SAYS TRUMP EMPHASIS ON PAST ‘NOT THAT HELPFUL’ FOR GOP IN MIDTERMS

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at an annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at an annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
(AP Photo/John Locher)

Pompeo, an Army officer on the front lines of the Cold War in Germany who was later elected to Congress from Kansas and served as CIA director and later as America’s top diplomat in the Trump administration, crisscrossed the country the past year and a half on behalf of fellow Republicans running in 2022 midterm elections. During his travels, he made numerous stops in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada — the first four states to vote in the GOP presidential nominating calendar.

Pompeo’s political action committee went up with ads in the early voting states, another sign he’s seriously mulling a White House bid. Pompeo, a Fox News contributor, recently said that “we are doing the things that one would do to be ready to make such an announcement and then to engage with the American people on the ideas that we believe matter.”

AS TRUMP LAUNCHES 2024 CAMPAIGN, POTENTIAL RIVALS GATHER AT MAJOR GOP CATTLE CALL

Asked Friday about his timetable to make a 2024 decision, he told Fox News “we’re still working our way through. We figured by the first quarter next year we need to be hard at it if we’re going to do it.”

Minutes later, speaking in front of the crowd of high-powered GOP activists and donors at the RJC dinner, Pompeo joked that he was “the warmup act tonight” for former Vice President Mike Pence, who was set to follow him at the podium.

Former Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen at a book signing at the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership conference, on Nov. 18, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Former Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen at a book signing at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership conference, on Nov. 18, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada
(Fox News )

“Who knows, the next time we’re together we could be on the stage,” Pompeo joked. “Who knows who will be between us and what nicknames we’ll have,” he added, pointing to potential presidential primary debates ahead between him, Pence and Trump.

Pompeo told Fox News he was disappointed with last week’s election results, when the GOP failed to win a Senate majority, lost key governors races and secured a razor-thin majority in the House of Representatives — disappointing GOP expectations for a “red wave” election. 

PENCE CALLS TRUMP SPECIAL COUNSEL ANNOUNCEMENT ‘VERY TROUBLING’

A number of Republicans in the wake of the midterm elections have criticized the former president for boosting far-right MAGA style candidates — who supported Trump’s unproven claims the 2020 election was stolen — who won GOP primaries but ended up losing in high profile competitive general election showdowns.

Pointing to his former boss, Pompeo said “as for President Trump, I think we should be looking forward… I don’t think the American people are interested in looking backwards.”

Former President Donald Trump during an announcement at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, US, on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. Trump formally entered the 2024 presidential race, making official what he's been teasing for months.

Former President Donald Trump during an announcement at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, US, on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. Trump formally entered the 2024 presidential race, making official what he’s been teasing for months.
(Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“The American people are looking for things that matter to them tomorrow. And I think we had too many candidates that spent too much time talking about yesterday or a week ago or four years ago, and not enough time talking about how they would deliver good outcomes tomorrow and next week and four years from now,” he argued.

There was a similar message from term-limited GOP Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, who also addressed the RJC crowd on Friday night. 

Pointing to setbacks by the Republicans in the 2018 midterms (when the lost the House majority), the 2020 elections (when the party lost the White House and the Senate majority) and last week’s midterms, Hogan emphasized: “Trump said we would be winning so much we’d get tired of winning. Well, I’m sick and tired of our party losing. This is the third election in a row that we lost and should have won.”

2022 AUTOPSY: GOP GOVERNORS SAY PARTY NEEDS TO LOOK THROUGH ‘FRONT WINDSHIELD’ RATHER THAN ‘REARVIEW MIRROR’

“I say three strikes and you’re out,” added the vocal Republican critic of the former president. “If you repeatedly lose to a really bad team, it is time for new leadership. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who was overwhelmingly re-elected last week, has seen his standing with conservatives across the county soar over the past two years, and has seen his numbers in the early 2024 GOP nomination polls surge in recent weeks. 

DeSantis addresses the RJC confab on Saturday, but Hogan – who reiterated he’ll make his own 2024 decision after his tenure as Maryland governor ends in mid-January – questioned whether the Florida governor may have the appetite to take on Trump.

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“I’m not sure he’s going to be a candidate,” Hogan told reporters on Friday. “Does he want to take on Trump? I’m not sure. I know most of the media’s focused on that.”

“I can tell you in almost every race I’ve seen the guy that comes out of the box first that everybody’s talking about two years out is almost never the nominee,” Hogan added.

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/pompeo-says-trumps-announcement-no-impact-his-own-2024-decision

Politics

Hot mic catches President Biden telling Cuban lawmaker he has to talk to him ‘about Cuba’

A hot mic after the State of the Union Tuesday evening caught President Biden telling Sen. Bob Menendez that he has to talk to him “about Cuba.”

Menendez, D-N.J., is a Cuban lawmaker and serves as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, an influential committee for initiating legislative proposals in the chamber. 

“Bob, I gotta talk to you about Cuba,” Biden said to the senator. 

The moment was caught on C-SPAN cameras as Biden spoke with Menendez and Rep. Adam Schiff, who House Speaker Kevin McCarthy blocked from joining the House Intelligence Committee. 

BIDEN BOOED DURING STATE OF THE UNION FOR CLAIMING GOP WANTS TO CUT SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE

President Biden takes photographs with members of Congress after speaking during a State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. 

President Biden takes photographs with members of Congress after speaking during a State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.  (Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Menendez is heard replying, “Okay.”

The lawmaker seemed confused by the president’s comment.

“I’m serious,” added Biden. 

BIDEN APPEARS TO GO OFF SCRIPT TO SAY US NEEDS OIL, GAS DRILLING

Menendez, the son of two Cuban migrants, has spent much of his time working in the House of Representatives and later the U.S. Senate on immigration and national security issues.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on January 26, 2023, in Washington, D.C. 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on January 26, 2023, in Washington, D.C.  (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rep.-elect Robert Menendez Jr., D-N.J., and his father Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., on the House floor of the U.S. Capitol, on Tuesday, January 3, 2023. 

Rep.-elect Robert Menendez Jr., D-N.J., and his father Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., on the House floor of the U.S. Capitol, on Tuesday, January 3, 2023.  (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

He is also credited with helping push through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, which went into effect under former President Barack Obama.

Menendez is currently prioritizing his efforts on “competing with China, confronting the global pandemic, and restoring the United States’ place as a leader around the globe,” according to his official government website.

President Biden exits after delivering the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. 

President Biden exits after delivering the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.  (Jacquelyn Martin/AP/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

President Biden, center, speaks during a State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. 

President Biden, center, speaks during a State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.  (Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

President Biden addressed competition with China during Tuesday evening’s address, saying he welcomed competition but would act swiftly to push back on any action that threatens U.S. sovereignty. 

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“But make no mistake about it: as we made clear last week, if China’s threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. And we did,” said Biden, referencing the Chinese spy balloon that was shot down by the U.S. military last week.

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Georgia Senate votes to block COVID-19 vaccine requirements at schools, government agencies

The Georgia Senate approved a measure Tuesday to prohibit schools and most state and local government agencies from mandating the coronavirus vaccine.

The legislation, Georgia State Senate Bill 1, passed the state Senate 31-21. The bill would not apply to healthcare providers subject to federal requirements that employees must be vaccinated to continue receiving federal payments.

A one-year ban on vaccine requirements was enacted last year, and this bill would make that measure permanent.

“We have lived for a year under the previous version of this law,” said Republican state Sen. Greg Dolezal, the bill’s main sponsor. “That law is set to sunset this summer so we just removed the sunset and said that we’re never going to have a day in Georgia where governments refuse services to its constituents based on whether or not they have received a COVID-19 vaccine.”

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION PUSHES BACK ON GOP EFFORT TO END VACCINE REQUIREMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL AIR TRAVELERS

The Georgia Senate approved a measure Tuesday to prohibit schools and most state and local government agencies from mandating the coronavirus vaccine.

The Georgia Senate approved a measure Tuesday to prohibit schools and most state and local government agencies from mandating the coronavirus vaccine. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Dolezal said he does not believe the government should “discriminate against citizens” based on their vaccination status.

The current one-year ban passed in 2022 is set to expire on June 30.

“We know that there’s been a movement building in America to demonize vaccinations and do it in the name of individual rights,” Democrat Sen. Nan Orrock said, adding that lawmakers who voted for the new bill are “fundamentally signing on to the anti-vaccination movement” and tying the government’s hands should COVID-19 worsen again.

The bill bans state agencies, local governments, schools and colleges from requiring proof of vaccination.

The bill would not apply to healthcare providers subject to federal requirements that employees must be vaccinated to continue receiving federal payments.

The bill would not apply to healthcare providers subject to federal requirements that employees must be vaccinated to continue receiving federal payments. (Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

“When we throw bills up on the floor and take votes on them in the General Assembly that result in further undermining the public’s faith in vaccines and in public health measures, I think that poses a danger to all of us in the long run,” Orrock said. “It is not wise.”

Republican Sen. Ben Watson, a medical doctor, said a mandate is not needed since the virus has become less severe.

“The science certainly has evolved, the disease certainly has evolved,” Watson said.

COVID-19’S LASTING IMPACT: ‘LESS ATTRACTIVE’ PEOPLE WEAR MASKS MORE OFTEN THAN OTHERS, STUDY FINDS

A one-year ban on vaccine requirements was enacted last year, and this bill would make that measure permanent.

A one-year ban on vaccine requirements was enacted last year, and this bill would make that measure permanent. (iStock)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Democrats, meanwhile, claim COVID-19 is less lethal thanks to vaccines and other public safety measures, and that there is no guarantee the virus will remain that way.

The bill now heads to the state House for consideration. 

Dolezal has said he plans to introduce a separate bill to make the current five-year ban on school mask mandates permanent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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Biden’s State of the Union touted economic success, but are Americans better off?

President Biden touted his economic accomplishments during his State of the Union address, but Americans across the country shared divided views on how their finances have fared two years into his term.

“If I didn’t work in a restaurant, I don’t think I’d be able to afford to eat,” Romello, a Washington state resident, told Fox News. “I’m dipping into my savings now.”

The cost of living is “crazy expensive” and rent is “mind-blowing,” he said. 

But Michael, of Nashville, said his financial situation has improved.

I make more money than I did three years ago,” he said. 

AMERICANS SHARE HOW THEIR FINANCIAL SITUATION HAS CHANGED UNDER BIDEN’S PRESIDENCY:

WATCH MORE FOX NEWS DIGITAL ORIGINALS HERE

A recent Fox News poll reported that 61% of registered voters disapproved of Biden’s handling of the economy. Additionally, 45% of respondents said economic conditions are “poor” while 35% answered “only fair.”

“We’re building an economy where no one’s left behind,” Biden said Tuesday during his State of the Union address. “Jobs are coming back, pride is coming back because of the choices we made in the last several years.”

Laura of Bellingham, Washington, doesn’t feel she’s in a better position than before Biden took office.

“Definitely worse off, but I still sit in a role of privilege,” she told Fox News. “So I’m fortunate enough to have weathered the storm without it being fully damaging to my family.” 

BIDEN’S IRS PLANS TO CRACK DOWN ON WAITERS’ TIPS

Laura said she is worse off financially under President Biden.

Laura said she is worse off financially under President Biden. (Fox News Digital / Hannah Ray Lambert)

But Rich, a D.C. resident, said: “If you look at it closely, the jobs are way up, inflation is down, corporate earnings are way up, wages are up.” 

“So, yes, all in all, I think the economy is doing better, although most people apparently do not think so,” he continued.

U.S. employers added 517,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate dropped to 3.4% — the lowest since 1969, according to the Department of Labor. But some economists warned that labor participation rates are still below pre-pandemic levels, though others say the report shows promise for sectors hit hard by the pandemic.

FOX NEWS POLL: STATE OF THE UNION IS DYSFUNCTION, DISSATISFACTION AND DISAPPROVAL

Joe Biden speaks about the progress of the administration's economic agenda.

Joe Biden speaks about the progress of the administration’s economic agenda. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, some Americans told Fox News they’re preparing for harder times ahead.

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“I’m being a little bit smarter and more frugal,” Pola, of Austin, said. “Especially for somebody like me in the service industry, you definitely have a little bit tougher of a time making your money.”

And a Nashville man said: “Things are more expensive, and I think it’s just digging us into a deeper hole.”

To watch the full responses, click here

Hannah Ray Lambert reported from Bellingham, Washington; Megan Myers from Washington, D.C.; Gabrielle Reyes from Austin; and Teny Sahakian from Nashville.

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