Feb 27, 2021
Mike Pompeo CPAC 2021 Speech Transcript
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a speech at CPAC on February 27, 2021 in which he took shots at the Biden administration. Read the full transcript of his speech here.
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Mike Pompeo: (00:16)
Thank you for that warm greeting. It’s always a blessing and a little bit unnerving to have your son at the podium. Look, I look out here and I see you all. I feel really at home and thank you for that.
Mike Pompeo: (00:38)
Last year, I came here as America’s 70th secretary of state, President Trump’s secretary of state. And before that, I was here as a member of Congress from South Central Kansas. Yeah, go Kansas. But this is different. This time’s different. In the last few months, we’ve been called clowns and deplorables and ignorant rednecks. We’ve been called the evil resistance. The New York Times thinks I’m the worst secretary of state of all time.
Mike Pompeo: (01:12)
Yeah. Since I last saw you, the Chinese have sanctioned me. The Iranians don’t think so much of me either, but I’m proud of our fight and I’m proud of our accomplishments and that we have truly upended the status quo. We’ve demonstrated enormous resistance. Resistance to socialism, to the woke, cancel culture. I’ll talk some about that. We resisted seeing our liberty and our freedoms slipping away. This is a noble worthy fight and we’re in it.
Mike Pompeo: (01:50)
We fought hard. We fought for it hard on nearly every front and we will always fight for it. I remember when they were calling us disruptors and said they were against the establishment. We said, “Of course.” Now, I want to tell the story. I think I come by this disruption and shooting straight very naturally. And in the Pompeo family, I’ve been compared to my grandpa. His name was Earl, Earl Mercer. Now Grandpa Earl always said what was on his mind. He was pretty rough cut, Kansas. He worked hard. He never won a Mr. Congeniality contest, even in Mitchell County.
Mike Pompeo: (02:27)
But when the going was tough, you wanted Grandpa Earl around. In the 1930s, Grandpa Earl was the sheriff of Mitchell County, Kansas. Population today, a little bit less than 6,500. My mother Dorothy was one of Earl’s and Grace’s 10 kids. I had an Uncle Richard. He was the last of the lot and he was going to run for reelection as sheriff. And Richard decided that there was good money. There was really good money in homemade gin.
Mike Pompeo: (02:58)
So he built a still in the basement bedroom. Everything was good, but the campaign and the bootleg business, all good. Until a still exploded in the basement. It blew up the basement and the campaign. Grandpa Earl was a one-term sheriff in Mitchell County. He moved his family to a little further South to where he raised my mother in Wellington, where he opened a pool hall. How’s that for going from sheriff to the pool hall operator? Best chili in Kansas.
Mike Pompeo: (03:28)
I tell this story because I think there’s a couple of things that we, those of us who believe, those of us who’ve been part of the conservative movement for so long can learn from this. First, he was a great sheriff and he was regarded as such because he never tried to be anything he wasn’t. And he was never afraid to tell people the truth. He did what the people of Mitchell County expected of him. He respected them.
Mike Pompeo: (03:51)
Second lesson from the gin problem is the plans change, things happen. We don’t always see it going exactly the way we want, but we should never give up. We should always be true to ourselves and we will succeed at all of it if we do.
Mike Pompeo: (04:09)
Grandpa Earl knew too that facts mattered. So today, I’m going to arm you with some facts, some accomplishments from these past four years, how we protected every one of you and our great bill of rights at every turn. And what’s good news today for me is when you’re a diplomat, when you’re the 70th secretary of state, you have to stay in your lane. I don’t have that. I’m not a diplomat. I’m going to let it rip.
Mike Pompeo: (04:34)
So look, where did we begin? We began with you. We began with workers all across America we put back to work. We put back to work women. We put back to work African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, everyone. Everyone was back working. We did that. President Trump did that. Our team understood that this matters
Mike Pompeo: (04:53)
We focused on the economy that put Americans back to work. We did it by also securing our borders, giving Americans the chance to make a good wage and a chance to take care of their families. And we also… I’m from Kansas, don’t forget. We built American energy jobs too. We rolled back regulations on job careers, and we wanted everyone to take risks and grow their business and create opportunity for people all across America. I heard this time and time again. I remember I ran for Congress in 2010, when President Obama was in office. Employers and workers had both lost confidence. We restored that confidence. They knew we had their back. We knew we’d support them, not burden them. We wanted them to be successful.
Mike Pompeo: (05:37)
The hallmark of our work here in America was that we were bold and fearless. And what I hear today, I hear Democrats pretend they care about jobs in America. But before the seats were warm in the oval office, they destroyed 10,000 jobs in a pipeline. And I see to my predecessor’s predecessor, green geek, John Kerry, right? He thinks these folks are all going to go make solar panels. I’ll tell you what, you ask the good people of midland Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, or South Dakota, Pennsylvania. You think petroleum engineers and rig hands are going to go out and make solar panels?
Mike Pompeo: (06:18)
No, and you can bet this too. Those cheap Chinese solar panels will start flooding into America like you have not seen. And this won’t be good for the United States of America. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes we get accused, say we don’t care about the environment. We create jobs that destroy the environment. That’s just not true. We simply didn’t do it. We didn’t protect the environment on the backs of American workers. There were more job openings than people looking for work for much of these past four years. It was an amazing accomplishment
Mike Pompeo: (06:52)
And when the Chinese wanted to come steal your job, we just said no way. 40 years, bipartisan, Democrat and Republican, 40 years of failure letting made in China crush us was going to stop. We demanded fair and reciprocal trade. Never forget too, China depends more for us than we do on them. President Trump understood that, our foreign policy understood that, and we protected the American worker from the Chinese Communist Party’s predation on us here in America.
Mike Pompeo: (07:33)
Now, my job often took me overseas. We protected our freedom abroad. We kind of did it like Grandpa Earl did. We were honest, hardworking. We treated the world as it is, not as we wished it were. We weren’t going to live in fantasy land. I will tell you, I walked out of some very quiet rooms in Europe. We had a restrained foreign policy, but when the time came, when the situation so required, we led. We came hard. We came heavy. I sent messages repeatedly to bad guys around the world that if you touch an American, you’ll pay dearly.
Mike Pompeo: (08:17)
Now, we all know that strength deters bad guys, weakness begets war. And we want to stay out of wars. And we did. I was with the president, so many trips and he would tell his counterparts across the world. He would say, look, I’m going to put America first as the President of United States. And I expect you will put your country and your people first and we’ll work together and accomplish this for both of our countries. And we did that.
Mike Pompeo: (08:51)
America first is right for America. It’s right for each of us. America first secures our freedom and the entire world benefits when America is fearless and bold and strong. Let me just tick through a few ways. Right? So first, we show up Paris Climate Accord was a job destroying joke. So we said [French 00:09:14].
Mike Pompeo: (09:13)
Look, we all want clean air, safe drinking water. But the Paris agreement was a fantasy for elite diplomats who just wanted to virtue signal. And when President Biden re-entered this deal, I can tell you that Xi Jiaping was smiling every single minute. And the American workers lost. We too spent a lot of time. We defended America in the Middle East and we defended Israel in the Middle East too. We were told a number of things, right? This was what establishment foreign policy is. You were told that you can’t sanction the Ayatollah in Iran and you can’t stop sending pallets of cash to the leadership. There’ll be a war. Well, we did. And there wasn’t a war.
Mike Pompeo: (09:54)
We were told you can’t move the United States embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. There’ll be a war. Well, we did. And there was not a war. We were told you can’t allow Israel to have its rights in Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights. There’ll be war. We did that. We righted that and there was no war
Mike Pompeo: (10:25)
We were told, and this was believed for an awful long time, that you can’t secure peace in the region, in the Middle East, between Arab nations and Israel, without buying off Palestinian kleptocrats. You’ll create World War III, but we did. The Abraham Accords forged a real peace in the Middle East.
Mike Pompeo: (11:08)
The Abraham Accords rewrote decades of failed shuttle negotiations, because we were willing to go against the elites of the foreign policy establishment, left and right to secure American freedom and to champion your values. It’s unfortunate. Looks like the new Team Biden appears to be headed back into appeasing Iran. This will be a disaster for the United States of America and a disaster for the region as well.
Mike Pompeo: (11:32)
I remember too, President Trump sent me to Pyongyang when I was a CIA director to meet with Chairman Kim, to prepare for the historic summit that was ultimately held in Singapore. You all remember this? We threatened fire and fury. We threatened fire and fury not to go to war, but to deter it. And deter it, we did.
Mike Pompeo: (11:53)
Since those summits, since those two summits, one in Singapore, one in Hanoi, the North Koreans haven’t tested a long range, ballistic missile, and they haven’t tested their nuclear weapons. Exactly zero tests have been conducted. That’s real foreign policy. It was humbling too, because it was the second trip, I had the chance to bring home American hostages from Pyongyang, three men at 3:00 in the morning.
Mike Pompeo: (12:30)
And America first always means never forgetting about our warriors. There was no greater honor to than the fact that we brought back other Americans like Pastor Brunson, who stayed in Turkey, detained wrongfully for just far too long. And we brought back so many remains of our fallen in Korea as well. This was amazing and right and America first.
Mike Pompeo: (12:57)
So how many of you remember Qassem Soleimani, Allah rest his soul? This was the Iranian general who was trying to cause trouble for America. He was on a mission to harm Americans, but we were a few steps ahead of him. So in the end, he didn’t cause trouble for Americans or anyone else ever again.
Mike Pompeo: (13:28)
Do you know that to this day, most of the liberals and most of the folks on [inaudible 00:13:36] still won’t acknowledge that riding the world of an America hating terrorists was a good thing. This is fantasy. Look, we too, we drew a red line. When the Syrians gassed children and women, and we told them, don’t do that again. And when they crossed it, President Trump ordered 70 plus beautiful American made Tomahawk missiles to let them know that we weren’t going to allow them to kill women and children. America first takes real courage. Takes a secretary of state willing to walk into a room and tell it like it is, and a president who have his back. We had that.
Mike Pompeo: (14:20)
Speaking of backs, I hear President Biden saying America’s back. Back to what? So back to pallets of cash to the Ayatollah, so he can build muscles that threaten us. Back to apologizing when Iranians tell our soldiers and sailors to take to their knees at gunpoint. Back to President Biden killing pipeline. Back to all the things that put America at risk. Back to supporting a pipeline in Europe that’ll create European jobs. This is not where we want to go back to any time at all. And we certainly don’t want to go back to letting China have trade deals that kill our jobs right here in America. We can’t afford it. We can’t afford it. It’s not the right thing. And we don’t have to do it. We must be bold. And we must always put America first.
Mike Pompeo: (15:19)
We spend a lot of time talking about being canceled. I was really happy that this was being aired on television, not canceled, at least for the moment. We worked tirelessly with great success to deliver on our values, American values that have made this such a special unique nation. Look, this country was built on what our founders understood and then the bill of rights that came behind that constitution. They built a nation recognizing that our rights come from our creator and not from any government. Our union becomes more perfect every time we defend our sovereignty and we defend our borders, and I’m proud that we were the most pro-life administration in the history of the United States of America.
Mike Pompeo: (16:19)
It was my job to deny that any taxpayer dollars from any hardworking American ever went to perform an abortion any place in the world. And we promoted adoption everywhere and always. And don’t forget too, President Trump appointed an awful lot of judges that understand the words life, and liberty and words that have real, real meaning.
Mike Pompeo: (16:41)
I worked with the Mexican government, my counterpart, foreign minister of Mexico and its president to secure our borders. We worked hard too, to make sure that drugs and other things didn’t traffic across that border, that meant too protecting your right to own firearms. Our Second Amendment matters. It builds communities. It builds strong families, and it makes sure each of us has the right to defend ourselves precisely as our founders intended.
Mike Pompeo: (17:06)
I’m always stunned. Liberals pretend to care about the poor. And then they side with the union bosses against the workers. They pretend to stand for children while kids in Democrat led inner cities aren’t in front of computers like they think they are. They’re struggling to figure out how to stay safe from drug Lords and how to get a meal. That’s not good leadership. That’s not America first leadership. It’s not taking care of those people you’re charged with protecting, and we need to get every one of our children back in school. And we need to get them back in now.
Mike Pompeo: (17:43)
I was a soldier about 25, 30 years ago, and about 100 pounds ago too. And when I hear Democrats say they want a strong America, I know that they are working to undermine it. Sadly, ,ark, my word. They’re going to cut the defense budget that we worked so hard to build. They’ll do it to pay for their Green New Deal. Kind of makes me mad, right? They’re going to trade army green for AOC green. That is a bad, bad trade.
Mike Pompeo: (18:14)
And as I said before, our young men and women, we don’t want to put them in harms way. We don’t want them to go to war, but when we’re weak at home, when we don’t stand up for our military, the risk of war increases when deterrence fades. We cannot let that happen. They want to defund the police while they barricade the Capitol. This is backwards. And canceling our freedom to assemble peacefully, while censoring our communications online is completely antithetical to what our founders understood about America.
Mike Pompeo: (18:44)
It reminds me when I headed off to West Point, my parents could afford to fly to New York. I grew up in Southern California. So they left me at the airport. My mother was happy and all kinds of feelings. My mother was a cigarette smoking high school graduate who was the most decent and toughest woman I’ve ever met. She said, “Mike,” she pulled me aside. I think she didn’t want my dad to hear this. She said, “Michael, I know you’re a grinder. Don’t ever let them wear you down. Wear them down.”
Mike Pompeo: (19:23)
I’ve never forgotten what my mom told me that day. We’ll all remember it. Keep grinding, keep championing American values. One more story. The smartest, best city officer that I ever came to know, he worked closely with me as a former air force special operations officer. I’d ask him about someone who was working on our team and I’d say, “What do you think of him?” Or, “What do you think of her?” And he’d say, “Love that guy, pipe hitter.” You know what he meant? He meant that person got stuff done. They were a grinder. They kept banging away. You all know these four years are going to test us.
Mike Pompeo: (20:07)
I need each of you to be a pipe hitter. Get stuff done. Keep grinding, be a pipe hitter, be a pipe hitter. Be a pipe hitter at church, right? Be a pipe hitter at church. Be a pipe hitter at your PTA meeting. Don’t let them bring crazy into your classrooms. Be a pipe hitter at your VFW. Lead the team to continue to support our military warriors. Be a pipe hitter. Be a pipe hitter when they tell you they’re closing the mine or the factory because of some green vision. Keep it open.
Mike Pompeo: (20:45)
President Reagan, a real pipe hitter, President Reagan got stuff done. And he once said, “If we lose freedom here, if we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape. This is the last stand on earth.” I saw that. I saw that as your secretary of state, as I traveled all around the world. And I’m confident that he was right. I am confident that the American star will shine across the heavens so long as we keep a proper understanding of our God-given rights at the center of who we are. And we keep up our quest to secure our freedom for our own people and for all of mankind. I’ll be with you in the fight. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America. Thank you.