Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mocked his predecessor John Kerry on Friday for the amount of time he spent in Europe attending fancy parties.
“You should know that different secretaries kind of roll different,” he said. “I’m not in it for the fancy dinners in Paris, or Switzerland, or Vienna.”
He added, “I’ve only been to those places twice during my time on the job. One of my predecessors went 62 times,” he continued as the audience laughed. “That, my friends, is a lot of cocktails.”
Pompeo spoke at CPAC on Friday, after meeting with President Donald Trump earlier in the day.
Pompeo also joked about Kerry’s visit to Antarctica in 2016.
“I don’t know who he was negotiating with there,” he said as the crowd laughed.
Pompeo said he preferred to spend his time in areas where his staff was struggling, such as those based in countries like China, Kabul, and Baghdad.
“I’d rather go be with my team in tough places, places that present hardship to the young men and women who serve as diplomats all across the world,” he said.
Pompeo said he appreciated the opportunity to work with a practical and realistic president, but also with a president that demanded strength and results.
“No foreign policy that is built on fantasy ever works, that’s what we’ve had to correct in our time,” he said, referring to past administration efforts.
He cited the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord as examples of failed efforts in former President Barack Obama’s administration and praised Trump for successfully replacing bad foreign trade deals.
‘The point is changing behavior, not signing documents,” he said.
Pompeo also criticized former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s belief that abortion was a human right.
“President Trump understands deeply that abortion isn’t a human right. It takes a human life.”
Pompeo praised Trump’s success at fighting terrorism, challenging Iran, fighting terrorists, and keeping the country safe.
“Wherever I go, working for president Trump, people tug on my sleeves, they want to meet me,” he said. “They want to meet me not because I’m Mike from Kansas, but because I represent the greatest country in the history of civilization.”