“Mike Pompeo has been an overtly religious secretary of state, which in itself is problematic because again he’s supposed to represent all of America, all of our religions,” Rice told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.
Pompeo has often spoken publicly about his Christian faith, saying in May that he reads both his Bible and intelligence reports in the morning.
Rice’s criticism echoes a New York Times “news analysis” piece from 2019 where correspondent Edward Wong wrote that Pompeo talking about Christianity and foreign policy has “increasingly raised questions about the extent to which evangelical beliefs are influencing American diplomacy.”
In a Fox News op-ed at the time, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins defended Pompeo, saying the Times article was “attempting to perpetuate the idea that evangelicals should stay out of the government or at least refrain from the public display of their faith.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters following a meeting with members of the U.N. Security Council, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, at the United Nations. (Mike Segar/Pool via AP)
Breaking with diplomatic tradition, Pompeo delivered a pre-taped speech from Jerusalem to the Republican National Convention on Tuesday that praised President Trump’s foreign policy agenda while avoiding stepping into election politics by criticizing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Speaking with a view of Jerusalem’s Old City behind him, Pompeo also lauded both Trump’s move to relocate the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and the recently brokered peace deal that normalized relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
Rice served in the Obama administration as both U.S. ambassador to the UN and national security adviser.
Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.