Pompeo says more must be done to control border in New Hampshire speech
By Adam Sexton, WMUR
MANCHESTER, N.H. — Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for a more hard-nosed American foreign policy in every corner of the globe, especially on the U.S.-Mexico border, in remarks Tuesday at a Politics & Eggs event.
Pompeo returned to New Hampshire as speculation continues about his potential intent to run for president.
One questioner asked Pompeo how he would stop China from pushing fentanyl into America.
“It seems to me it’s almost like an act of war,” the questioner said. “There’s so many people dead from this.”
“I’m not sure I’d put ‘almost’ like an act of war,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo said when former President Donald Trump was accused of wanting to bomb Mexico, it was an exaggeration of an idea he was advocating within the administration for more robust efforts to stop the flow of drugs.
“How do you prevent Xi Jinping from moving these drugs into America to undermine and put our nation in decline? What are the tools we might have?” Pompeo said. “So, we began to think about how we might use the full range of America’s capacity to protect us from these ungoverned spaces. We should renew that. It will be a hard, fraught, difficult conversation with the Mexican government, for sure. But this is about us.”
Pompeo bristled at questions over recent moves by Republican governors to send migrants from the border to places such as Martha’s Vineyard and the vice presidential residence in Washington, saying critics who call it “human trafficking” are off the mark.
“That’s craziness,” he said. “Joe Biden’s moved more immigrants around this country than (Florida) Gov. (Ron) DeSantis will ever move across this country. I’m worried about the 50 who came across last hour.”
Pompeo said he’s doing the work necessary to prepare for a campaign for president, if that’s where this process leads him, but no decision has been made yet. Top New Hampshire Republicans said they’re eager to see more of the former secretary of state, regardless of whether Trump runs again.
“One of the things that is a strength of the Republican Party is that we have great primaries,” said Bill O’Brien, former speaker of the New Hampshire House.