Feb 20, 2015 12:36 PM
Kevin Landrigan: Potential GOP contender John Bolton says Obama asleep on American threats
GOFFSTOWN - Potential, Republican presidential candidate John Bolton said his experience not in elective politics may be an advantage as he ponders a White House run in 2016.
"Well, I think it is very much the case there is a political class in this country, that it becomes a career and I think that's a negative for us politically,'' Bolton tells NH1 News after speaking to the Politics and Eggs forum at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.
Bolton brought his stinging prosecution of President Obama's foreign policy to the speaking event before later dining with former US Sen. Scott Brown.
Unlike others with elected jobs, Bolton said he's got a more flexible timetable and will not decide on a run until this summer.
Bolton has a very credible pedigree as a national security expert having served as ambassador to the United Nations, an undersecretary of state for arms control and a former federal prosecutor.
But Bolton, 66, stressed that if he does run, he'll offer voters the full range of issues.
"I would be a 360-degree candidate,'' Bolton said. "I don't think there is any way you can run as a single issue candidate although I don't think national security is the equivalent of broccoli subsidies,'' Bolton said.
On crisis after crisis, Bolton charges Obama was asleep at the wheel and not fully engaged fighting foreign enemies.
"He does not wake up in the morning with the first thought, what threats do the American people face today,'' Bolton said.
A Democratic Party spokesman said Bolton sullied himself during the midterm elections by trying to capitalize for GOP votes on the tragic death of journalist James Foley.
"Granite Staters learned all they needed to know about John Bolton when his right-wing fringe group ran disgusting campaign ads trying to exploit the image of New Hampshire native James Foley for political gain,'' Aaron Jacobs said.
"While John Bolton's radical partisanship may have a place on Fox News, it certainly does not belong in any serious discussion of foreign policy."
But Republican State Chairman Jennifer Horn of Nashua said Bolton has real gravitas when it comes to foreign policy and national security.
"Ambassador Bolton is one of the most credible figures on national security and foreign policy today,'' Horn said. "He understands not just the failures of this administration but the horrific consequences of those failures.''
Bolton opted not to take sides in response to 2008 presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani who said this week that the president "doesn't love America.''
"I'd rather not comment; you know I wasn't there when he said it and there were so many different versions of it,'' Bolton said.
"What I think the President is wrong about is fundamentally he doesn't believe in American exceptionalism. He says that he does but he really believes we are just another country. We have our priorities but so does everybody else."