Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday evening said he was opting out of the 2024 presidential race, putting to rest speculation that he would challenge his ex-boss, former President Trump.
“We’re not going to join the race in 2024,” Pompeo told Fox News’ Bret Baier when asked about his decision.
“We came to the conclusion that this wasn’t the moment for us,” he added, referencing his wife, Susan.
Pompeo said finding a way to compete against former Trump and other Republicans — especially as Trump is leading by wide margins in most polls — did not factor into his decision.
“Frankly, this race I hope isn’t about people. I hope it’s about ideas,” he said.
The former Trump official had been considering whether he would enter the race for months. He said in December that he would announce his decision by the spring.
Pompeo said in a statement posted on his Twitter account following his appearance on Fox that his decision was a “personal” one that now is not the “right time” for him and his family to launch a presidential campaign.
He said he and his wife decided that the best roles they can serve are as parents, Sunday school teachers and business and community leaders.
Pompeo added that he has been humbled by people who have come to him to say they were praying for him to run and also heard people tell him, “you’d be crazy to run.”
He also did not rule out potentially running for president in the future.
“To those of you this announcement disappoints, my apologies,” he said. “And to those of you this thrills, know that I’m 59 years-old. There remain many more opportunities for which the timing might be more fitting as presidential leadership becomes even more necessary.”
He did not say in the interview whether he would consider endorsing a candidate during the Republican primaries, telling Baier, “we’ll see how it plays out.”
“It’s not about any one person,” he said. “I want to find that person who cannot only talk about the things that matter to every family in America but who can actually build an organization, create a team and deliver that for the American people.”
Pompeo said the person he will throw his support behind might not be Trump, whom he worked with as secretary of state.
“When I figure out who that right person is, I will, like I’ve always done in my life, I will get behind them and do everything I can to help them,” he said.
Updated at 6:50 p.m.