A day after reports that more than two million migrants had illegally crossed the U.S. southern border already this fiscal year — a new record — former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the flood of fentanyl across the border “an act of war” and another sign of the “waffling, weak” Biden administration.
Pompeo’s comments came Tuesday at a “Politics and Eggs” breakfast hosted by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics and the New England Council. The event is popular among potential presidential candidates with an eye on the First in the Nation primary. Pompeo made no secret of his interest in a possible run, saying he is “doing all the things that one would do to be ready to make such an announcement.”
The theme of Pompeo’s speech was what he called the “woke, weak and waffling” Biden administration. He mocked the White House for “walking back” Biden’s statement on “60 Minutes” that U.S. troops would be sent to Taiwan in the event of an invasion by China.
“I think if I would have corrected President Trump that way, I would have been the ‘former’ 70th secretary of state,” he said.
Pompeo also called out Biden’s “divisive language” regarding Trump supporters, the president accusing them of “semi-fascism” and comparing them to racists like Bull Connor who fought against the civil rights movement.
“The president of the United States gave a speech that smeared half the country. He identified half the country as enemies of the state,” Pompeo said.
“Mr. President, I can’t tell you what’s in your heart, I don’t know. But I do know that treating your fellow countrymen like enemies is a rejection of …what has made this country great.”
Pompeo covered a wide range of policy topics from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its impact on energy costs (“I can’t say Putin wouldn’t have invaded if we were still in the White House. I just know that he didn’t”), to the need for more parental input into public school education.
But one issue engaged him again and again: The chaos at the southern border.
During the speech, he called out Biden’s decision to reverse the Trump administration border policies, “and now illegal immigrants flood our nation streaming across our southern border.”
When he took questions, audience members asked Pompeo about the flow of fentanyl that has fed a surge in opioid overdoses in New Hampshire and across the country, with one saying, “It seems almost like an act of war.” Pompeo replied, “I’m not sure I’d use the word ‘almost.'”
Pompeo reminded attendees of previous reports that “Trump wanted to bomb Mexico.” Pompeo set the record straight: “That was actually me.”
He explained the U.S. was fighting in Afghanistan because America “was attacked from an ungoverned space” used by Al Qaeda to plot the 9/11 attack. Well, today that ungoverned space isn’t just in Afghanistan, it’s a stone’s throw away from El Paso.” And, Pompeo argued, China’s Xi and the Mexican drug cartels are taking advantage of that ungoverned space to undermine America with an onslaught of opioids.
“Fentanyl is as cheap as it’s ever been,” Pompeo noted. “America’s leaders should be resolved to find a way to stop it.”
Asked about the 50 illegal immigrants flown to nearby Martha’s Vineyard by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), Pompeo said, “I’m not worried about the 50 migrants in Martha’s Vineyard, I’m worried about the 50 who crossed our border while I was speaking.”
He said Democrats on the Homeland Security Committee like Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) “aren’t remotely serious about the problem,” in part, Pompeo said, because “parts of the Democratic Party believe deeply in open borders.”
And Pompeo challenged the media to confront elected officials who claim, as members of the Biden administration have, that “the border is secure.”
“When Vice President Harris tells [reporters] ‘they’re not walking across the border,’ every one of you should say, ‘Ma’am, here’s the picture of them coming across. You are lying to the American people.’ Don’t let her gaslight the issue,” Pompeo said. “To lie to the American people about what’s actually going on there is indecent.”