CNN Special Report “Remembering 41: President George H. W. Bush” airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET.
In an exclusive interview just hours after the death of George H.W. Bush, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reflected on the “remarkable American legacy” of the former President.
“They don’t make them like that very often,” Pompeo told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
Pompeo said he first got to know Bush as a member of Congress and then as CIA director – the role Pompeo held prior to serving as secretary of state and a job Bush held for a year in 1976.
“I remember talking to him just after I was nominated to be CIA director, he said, ‘You’ll be great, you’ll be awesome. In fact it was the second best job I ever had,’” Pompeo recalled with a small chuckle. “He loved that group of people, that talented espionage agency, so much.”
“America is worse off today,” he said, extending condolences on behalf of himself and his wife.
Pompeo said contemporary politicians could learn from Bush’s life of service and commitment to his faith.
“If you work at it, keep your faith, and keep a commitment to serve, good things can happen. Not only to him, he had a remarkable life, but you’ll do good work for your fellow man as well. President Bush certainly did that,” Pompeo said.
In addition to his remarks in Argentina, the secretary of state also released a statement in tribute to the the 41st president, who died late Friday at his home in Houston at the age of 94.
“Devoted husband, loving father, steadfast friend, exemplary patriot: this is how I will always remember President George H. W. Bush,” Pompeo wrote. “Whether he was serving in the skies over the Pacific during World War II, protecting America at CIA headquarters, or leading our nation in the Oval Office, President Bush was one of America’s most consequential and dedicated public servants.”