TAMPA, Fla. – President Obama is the real “radical,” who puts “restructuring the U.S. and its economy” ahead of national security, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, a senior adviser to Mitt Romney, declared in a radio interview.

Bolton was firing back in response to an interview the president gave to the Associated Press in which Obama categorized Romney’s positions as “extreme.”

“I think the Obama tactic obviously is a familiar refrain that has been used against Republicans for years,” retorted Bolton.

Bolton charged “it is Obama who is the radical here on a whole wide range of issues, especially on national security.”

“He is the first president since FDR whose initial thought on wakening in the morning isn’t what threats does the U.S. face,” Bolton said. “Instead, he has thoughts of restructuring the U.S. and its economy.

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“I think he is comfortable with America in decline,” the former ambassador added. “I think his massive cuts in defense while expanding every other part of the government demonstrate that.”

Bolton was speaking on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York City’s WABC Radio.

Asked by Klein why Romney doesn’t focus more on defense and foreign policy, Bolton explained the Romney campaign’s estimation that the economy trumps other issues.

“I think the judgment of the campaign and all the professionals running it is that the Obama administration has no defense on the economy,” said Bolton. “Its record is absolutely wretched. This is a faltering, feeble economic recovery. So I fully understand why they are hitting the economy.

“I think the American people are very pragmatic when it comes to national security,” he said. “They know that they have too many pressing matters of high importance – their jobs, their family – to worry about the intricacies of foreign policy.

“But when they look at presidential candidates they say to themselves, ‘Who is the leader that I can entrust to defend America and American interests while I worry about things closer to home?’ And I think Obama is very vulnerable on that point for people, frankly, just from reading the newspaper on a daily basis.”

In an interview released over the weekend, Obama told the AP that Romney has locked himself into “extreme positions” on economic and social issues and would surely impose them if elected.

“I can’t speak to Gov. Romney’s motivations,” Obama said. “What I can say is that he has signed up for positions, extreme positions, that are very consistent with positions that a number of House Republicans have taken. And whether he actually believes in those or not, I have no doubt that he would carry forward some of the things that he’s talked about.”

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