John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, announced today he is considering a bid for U.S. president in 2012.
It was his first direct response to months of Internet speculation that he may join the next presidential race.
Bolton was speaking to WND senior reporter Aaron Klein on the latter’s investigative radio show on WABC in New York.
“Yes, I am considering it,” Bolton said when asked if he is considering a 2012 presidential run. “I am very concerned about the direction of national security policy.”
Continued Bolton: “I am concerned that we hardly talk about it at national level debates in the mainstream media. The president, as they say, just seems to view national security issues as an irritation, as a distraction from what his real priorities are.”
Audio of the interview can be heard below:
“Coming into the 2012 election cycle,” Bolton said, “I don’t have the slightest doubt that while economic issues are very much on peoples minds as they should be, that it is not in our interest to continue to ignore foreign and national security issues. So, if I did run – and I haven’t made a decision, I have never run for office one way or the other, so it would be a pretty big decision to do it – I just think this has got to be more of priority.”
Klein asked Bolton what factors he will consider in making a final decision to run for president.
“I think it’s very important on the Republican side that we have a candidate against president Obama who can address these national security issues and to be able to debate him as an equal when you get into the 2012 campaign,” replied Bolton.
“You know,” Bolton stated, “[Obama] doesn’t enjoy being commander in chief, but he will have been commander in chief for almost four years, and he gives a pretty good speech. So it’s important to be able to take him on intellectually and at a policy level in a very direct way, and that is one of the things I will be considering.”
Earlier in the interview, Bolton slammed Obama’s foreign policy: “If one thing is clear after two years of Obama foreign policy, it is that he is very uncomfortable asserting American interests around the world. He views national security as a distraction from his real priority, which is restructuring the American way of life. And his foreign policy really consists of making decisions – in the case of Iraq and Afghanistan – only when he is forced to do it.”
Bolton also took a stab at Obama’s stimulus legislation, which, the former U.N. ambassador contended, “has failed, I think, in the view of almost everyone.”
Asked whether it is too late to “fix” the country, Bolton replied, “I think this is always reversible, if America has the will to defend itself, which I think is where the overwhelming majority of the American people are.”
He added, “But every year that goes by while we allow these problems to expand … it makes it that much harder and that much more expensive to crawl out of the hole. … In addition, the signal of weakness that these kinds of policies send around the world only encourages our adversaries and increases the risk of trouble for ourselves and our allies.”