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Viguerie Joins 92 Conservative Leaders Backing Pompeo For Secretary Of State

CHQ Chairman Richard A. Viguerie has joined ninety-two other conservative leaders who have thrown their support behind the nomination of CIA Director and conservative former Congressman Mike Pompeo to be the next Secretary of State.

Pompeo, first in his class at West Point and a vocal opponent of Obama’s Iran nuclear weapons deal was Mike Pompeonominated by President Trump to succeed Rex Tillerson, and is now facing a tough confirmation battle drawing opposition from Democrats and libertarian-leaning Senator Rand Paul.

The statement signed by Mr. Viguerie and other leaders of the Conservative Action Project said in part, "Conservatives applaud President Trump for his nomination of Mike Pompeo to the position of Secretary of State… Pompeo’s vast experience across multiple levels of government has demonstrated his commitment to protecting America’s interests, and make him uniquely qualified to lead the State Department through complex and challenging times."

"Mike Pompeo’s career also shows a regard for the sanctity of life, the solidarity of the family, and the solemnity of marriage," added the CAP statement. 

"These principles will be key in re-building a State Department that, under President Obama, actively pushed a radical social policy around the world," says the statement. "His belief in religious freedom as a foreign policy priority is equally important in directing the State Department’s efforts to protect the freedom of all people."

Our friend Michael W. Chapman of CNS News reports Pompeo has described Iran as a “despotic theocracy” and “a pernicious empire that is expanding its power and influence across the Middle East.” On North Korea, Pompeo says it is the goal of the administration to ensure "complete verifiable irreversible denuclearization of North Korea."

Although many conservatives support the nomination of Pompeo as the next Secretary of State, Chapman reports more libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has said he opposes Pompeo's nomination. Paul said he disagreed with Pompeo's apparent support for "enhanced interrogation techniques" and Pompeo's support for the Iraq war.

"I'm perplexed by the nomination of people who love the Iraq War so much that they would advocate for a war with Iran next," said Paul on March 14.  "I think it goes against most of the things President Trump campaigned on."

Meanwhile, POLITICO reports that one Democrat who supported Pompeo to lead CIA is already leaving the door open to opposing him as secretary of state. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a Foreign Relations Committee member, told POLITICO he has “some major concerns” about the bid.

“The intel position is so different than being the chief diplomat,” Kaine said in an interview reported by Elana Schor. “And his track record as a House member was not pro-diplomacy, his track record was anti-diplomacy — and, I think, preferring war first. … That could exacerbate some major concerns I have about the president’s attitude."

Schor reports another Senate Democrat on the Foreign Relations panel who backed Pompeo's CIA nomination, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, also said in an interview that she wants to gauge his answers to budget and personnel questions before deciding how she'll vote.

With Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) absent and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) opposed to Haspel and Pompeo, the Trump White House is likely to need Democratic votes to win confirmation. That means a handful of senators are in line for a maximum pressure campaign from the left.

POLITICO reports two other Democrats being watched by liberal advocacy groups are Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, who opposed Pompeo for CIA, and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who last year shifted from yes to no on a Trump nominee involved in the Bush-era legal memos that cleared the use of enhanced interrogation tactics.

With the Pompeo nomination being increasingly tied to the nomination of Gina Haspel to succeed him at the CIA, another Senate Democrat the left is closely watching on the nominations: Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who told POLITICO in a statement that "neither confirmation is a sure thing."

While Schumer is being coy and not tipping his hand before the confirmation hearings get under way, liberal advocacy groups are already turning up the heat. "The short answer is no. There is no reason for any Democrats to vote to confirm either Pompeo or Haspel," said Elizabeth Beavers, policy manager for the liberal group Indivisible.

The toll-free Capitol Switchboard is (1-866-220-0044) we urge CHQ readers and friends to call their Senators today to urge them to vote to confirm Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State.

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