By Michael Ginsberg
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has lost nearly one-third of his total body weight since June 2021, he revealed in a Thursday interview.
Shortly after weighing himself and seeing the scale near 300 pounds, Pompeo “started exercising, not every day, but nearly every day, and eating right and the weight just started to come off,” he told the New York Post. The three-term Kansas representative, who also led the CIA, has struggled with his weight throughout his life, but the problem became worse when he entered Congress in 2011, he added.
To aid the process, Pompeo built a home gym in his basement.
“I tried to get down there five, six times a week and stay at it for a half-hour or so. And that was nothing scientific. There was no trainer, there was no dietician. It was just me,” he said.
— New York Post (@nypost) January 6, 2022
The pronounced weight loss has fed speculation that Pompeo may run for president in 2024. He visited Iowa twice in 2021, and New Hampshire once. Pompeo also founded a new organization, Championing American Values PAC, in June, which has raised money for and endorsed various candidates running in the 2022 midterms. (RELATED: Pompeo Throws Shade At CIA, Says National Security Shouldn’t Be Risked To ‘Appease Some Liberal, Woke Agenda’)
Pompeo isn’t the only 2024 contender to lose weight, however. Former President Donald Trump has reportedly lost between 20 and 25 pounds since leaving the White House in January, according to top aide Jason Miller.
During the 2020 election cycle, several Democratic candidates made public efforts to lose weight and project physical fitness. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who is vegan, tried intermittent fasting, while New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand publicized her weight-lifting regimen.
Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who ran in 2016, underwent secret lap band surgery.
Polling has indicated that voters consider the weight of prospective candidates, with CBS News finding in 2014 that 19% of Americans viewed a hypothetical overweight president negatively.
Pompeo denied that his weight loss was related to a future campaign, however.
“The truth is, I’m really getting ready for 2044 and hoping I’ll be around in 2054,” he joked, noting his son’s upcoming wedding and future potential grandchildren.