Speed Reads

RNC 2020

Mike Pompeo's 'flat' RNC speech mostly overshadowed by preceding controversy

After all the controversy that preceded it, critics were mostly underwhelmed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's pre-taped speech that aired Tuesday night during the Republican National Convention.

Pompeo didn't stray off path while delivering his remarks and simply touted what he considers to be President Trump's foreign policy highlights, including the recent U.S.-brokered agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Trump's response to China's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and the strengthening of NATO. The content, combined with Pompeo's delivery, had viewers yawning.

The speech was the talk of the town the last few days, since State Department policy urges officials to refrain from participating in political events, and a Secretary of State campaigning for the president during a party convention is believed to be unprecedented. The fact that it was taped while Pompeo was on an official diplomatic trip to Israel was especially troublesome in the eyes of diplomats and lawmakers.

Ultimately, though, it looks like those concerns will continue to overshadow the actual address. Michael Koplow, the policy director for Israel Policy Forum, tweeted that "for all the blowback and controversy Pompeo caused with that speech, you'd think he would have seized the moment a bit more. What an empty speech and completely flat delivery." Watch the full speech below. Tim O'Donnell