May 13, 2015 4:46 PM

Steinhauser: Bolton 2016 announcement is hours away

NH1 Political Director -

CONCORD – We’ll learn at Noon on Thursday whether John Bolton is running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush will announce his intentions on his Facebook page and will then talk to reporters on a media teleconference call, a spokesman for Bolton told NH1 News.

Since last autumn, Bolton has been seriously considering a White House run, making five trips to New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary state. He’s also made two visits each to Iowa, the first caucus state, and South Carolina, which holds the first southern contest in the presidential primary and caucus calendar.

During the 2014 election cycle, Bolton’s political action committee and his super PAC raised more than $7.5 million and contributed more than $470,000 to some of the 87 GOP candidates that were endorsed. And the super PAC went up with a major digital ad campaign to back Republican candidates and causes in 14 states, including New Hampshire and Iowa.

Bolton considered a bid for the 2012 GOP nomination before deciding against a run. If he does launch a 2016 campaign, he'll be considered a very longshot, even though foreign policy and national security are expected to play a larger role in the election.

Asked what his campaign would look like, last month Bolton told NH1 News that "it would be a 360 degree campaign. I'm motivated by my concern that people understand that the president's most important duty is protecting the country, and I think that's what all the candidates have to measure up to. But I also understand that if you are going to be serious about this, you have to address all the issues that people are concerned about, the economy, immigration, and a whole range of other issues, and I would be prepared to do that. A lot of it would be internet driven. We've done a lot in the super PAC I set up in the last election cycle, through social media and direct communication. And I think we would handle the campaign that way."

Bolton’s been a vocal critic of Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who last month launched a campaign for the Republican nomination. Paul has come under fire in recent months from foreign policy hawks over his stance on nuclear negotiations with Iran and a host of other international hot spots, with many characterizing Paul as an isolationist who's in-line with his father Ron Paul, the libertarian-minded former congressman from Texas who ran three times for the White House urging an anti-interventionist platform.

Bolton told NH1 News that "I think this is really a political problem for Sen. Paul. I think his philosophy is essentially the same as his father's but you don't get to be the nominee of the Republican Party for the presidency pursuing that line. So I think Sen. Paul's issue is that his philosophy and his ambitions are in competition and on any given day on any given issue it's a coin toss where he's going to come out.”


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