Mike Pompeo says his political future is focused on conservative PAC, 2022 elections, 'then the Lord knows what'

Jason Tidd
Topeka Capital-Journal

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said his political future is focused on the 2022 midterm elections. He is now leading a conservative political action committee.

Pompeo, a close ally of former President Donald Trump, has been speaking and fundraising in Kansas in recent days. On Monday, he was the keynote luncheon speaker at the Kansas Independent Oil & Gas Association annual convention.

“CAVPAC is designed to give me the capacity to go out and help candidates win in 2022, and that’s my political future,” Pompeo told reporters after his speech. “I’m going to go and help these folks win. And then the Lord knows what will happen after that.” 

Speculation over the future of Pompeo's political career — including a potential 2024 presidential run — has followed his trips to Kansas. Following his KIOGA speech, an attendee shouted to Pompeo that he should run for president. 

The speculation is fueled by the sizeable war chest in his campaign account.

More:With key races looming, will Republican National Convention energize Kansas Republicans?

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shakes hands with legislators and colleagues at Monday's Kansas Independent Oil & Gas Association annual convention in Wichita.

Federal Election Commission reports show the Pompeo for Kansas candidate committee had more than $1 million at the start of the calendar year. By June 30, the amount had dipped to about $845,000 — primarily due to a $150,000 transfer and $5,000 contribution to Champion American Values.

Champion American Values, also known as CAVPAC, was formed by Pompeo earlier this year to back conservative causes and politicians. The acronym comes from Pompeo's time as a cavalry officer in the U.S. Army, and the PAC asked people to " join the CAVPAC Cavalry and help us protect American values."

"I've traveled to 40-plus places to help candidates be ready for the election in November of 2022," Pompeo said in his speech. "I can't tell you how many people have come to me and said, 'Mike, what they're teaching my kids is garbage.'"

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at Monday's Kansas Independent Oil & Gas Association annual convention in Wichita.

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Pompeo said people are now running for city council and school board in response to challenges that "risk undermining our republic." He said he is "convinced that we will find patriotic Americans" who voted Trump into office in 2016 "and I am working my tail off to make sure they head down (the same path) in 2022."

During an audience question and answer session, state Rep. Tatum Lee, R-Ness City, asked Pompeo about election integrity and the "fraud that Mike Lindell has just made very obvious to everyone."

"I’m looking forwards, not backwards," Pompeo responded.

He said states should enact "common sense" election security laws, pointing to voter ID laws in particular, and decried the "goofiness" of courts that "changed the rules within weeks of the election."

Pompeo didn't acknowledge a reporter question after his speech about whether he believes the 2020 election to have been free and fair.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefly answers reporters' questions following his keynote address.

Prior to the oil and gas industry convention, Pompeo headlined a Kansas Republican Party fundraiser in Wichita on Friday. The state GOP event at the Wichita Country Club included a policy roundtable and VIP reception. Admission costs ranged from as low as $340 per person to as high as $25,000 for a couple.

More:With key races looming, will Republican National Convention energize Kansas Republicans?

In his first trip to Kansas after his time in the Trump administration, Pompeo spoke at a closed-door, anti-abortion fundraiser in Wichita in May. News reporters were barred from attending the Kansans for Life event.

Pompeo was first elected to represent the Wichita area in Congress in 2010. He became Trump's Central Intelligence Agency director in 2017 and the secretary of state in 2018.