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Photo courtesy of the John Bolton PAC

Oct 14, 2014 10:47 AM

Paul Steinhauser: John Bolton heading to NH for Marilinda Garcia, Frank Guinta

NH1 Political Director - NH1.com

WASHINGTON D.C. - John Bolton is very clear when it comes to his feelings about President Barack Obama.

"President Obama didn't pay enough attention to national security. I really don't think he considers it a priority," the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush told NH1.

Bolton is headed to New Hampshire on Wednesday, Oct. 15, for a two-day swing to help Republican congressional nominees Marilinda Garcia and Frank Guinta. Bolton will land in the Granite State one day after he announced that the PAC and superPAC he set up last year raised nearly $2.5. million the past three months. That brings to more than $6.5 million the amount brought by both groups since September of last year. The John Bolton PAC and superPAC also report receiving some 19,000 donations from all 50 states.

Bolton says national security is his motivating factor.

"This is an issue I get pretty worked up on. I do think political operatives in both parties have simply been wrong over the past years when they say ‘nobody cares about foreign and defense policy, it's not a priority for the average voter. It doesn't affect their daily lives. Stay away from it,' " Bolton told NH1.

"I think increasingly over the last six years as Obama has demonstrated again and again and again that he just doesn't give priority to national security, that people have become increasingly concerned that the country is not being protected," Bolton said, adding that "there are threats and challenges that the United States faces internationally and it would be inexplicable if the question of safety and the future of the United States isn't something people care about in elections."

While in New Hampshire, Bolton will appear at a town hall Wednesday evening at Dartmouth for Garcia, the state representative who's challenging Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster in the state's 2nd congressional district. In August, Bolton's superPAC went up with an on-line spot that criticized Kuster over Benghazi, using infamous video of what appeared to be a baffled congresswoman being questioned about the incident at a town hall.

Last week, Bolton's superPAC announced a $5 million digital ad campaign that includes a spot supporting GOP Senate nominee Scott Brown, who's challenging Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen.

In the ad, Bolton says "supporting Jeanne Shaheen is a big risk for America."

New Hampshire's Senate race is one of around a dozen nationwide that could determine whether the Democrats keep control of the chamber. But Bolton said that the Granite State's House races are just as important.

"While I'm standing independently in New Hampshire on behalf of Scott Brown, I want to also make sure that we don't lose sight of the House races. And I thought that New Hampshire was a particularly compelling example. Not only was there an important Senate race but you had two congressional districts that had gone back and forth in recent years between the two parties, and where I thought, as in the Senate race, there were two Democratic incumbents who were part of the problem," Bolton added.

Will Bolton run in 2016?

According to the PAC, Bolton has endorsed 76 candidates so far this cycle, contributing $415,000 to some of them. But for the possible 2016 GOP presidential contender, it's the endorsements in New Hampshire that stand out.

But Bolton, who considered a run for the 2012 GOP nomination, is in no rush to talk about 2016.

"I think any thought of that has to be postponed until after November the fourth. What motivated me about 2012, what motivated me to set up the PAC and super PAC is I just believe very passionately that under the Obama administration, both because of his lack of interest in the subject and because of an inadequate Republican response, national security has been eclipsed by other issues. I think that's a big mistake for the country."

Asked about any kind of timetable when it comes to deciding on a 2016 run, Bolton said "I don't' have a timetable."

But he did have time to praise voters in the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House, touting their important role in choosing the next president.

"Whether I get into it or not, New Hampshire voters can set the tone for the candidates who do get in."


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