Former Kansas Congressman and current CIA Director Mike Pompeo faced the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday as the nominee for Secretary of State. He brought two distinguished Senators with him.
“He’ll hit the ground running,” said former Senator and 1996 Republican Presidential nominee, Bob Dole. “He knows the territory. He knows the people, they got acquainted with him as CIA Director. He’s ready to go. He will be our top diplomat. What we would like to urge is a quick confirmation, because he is needed by the President and the rest of us who live in this wonderful country.”
Current Senator Pat Roberts also sang Pompeo’s praises to the committee and talked about how Kansans know him.
“They know him as a man of integrity and honesty, of hard work and perseverance,” said Roberts. “He built a successful business, understood the responsibility of maintaining a payroll and helped bring job growth and prosperity to Wichita, Kansas. They know him to have Kansas common sense, and to be plain-spoken, to tell it like it is. Senator Dole and I might share just a little bit of that, too. They know him as a statesman, a man who listens to others, who works well with people and who can negotiate solutions in a very effective manner.”
Pompeo made it clear that his time at West Point and serving in the Army has made him a unique pick for this position.
“There’s no one like someone who has served in uniform, who understands the value of diplomacy and the terror and tragedy that is war,” said Pompeo. “It’s the last resort. It must always be so. I intend to work to achieve the President’s policies with diplomacy, rather than by sending our young men and women to war. I know that I am serving a President who feels the same way.”
Pompeo needs the support of at least one Democrat on the committee to assure that his nomination gets to the Senate floor, as Kentucky Republican Rand Paul has said he won’t support him and it remains to be seen what leadership would do if the committee were equally divided.
Image from Senate Foreign Relations Committee streaming video