John Bolton says he has ruled out a 2012 presidential run. The former United States ambassador to the U.N. told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Tuesday he still believes that national security must be a central issue for the Republican nominee, and so far he has not seen a candidate who has made it a priority.
“It’s a very difficult decision — and my view has not changed one iota that we need a much more robust discussion of national security issues as part of this presidential campaign,” Bolton said. “And I say that not because I have an abstract interest in foreign policy but because the policies that President Obama has been pursuing are extremely harmful to the nation now and into the future. And unless we start talking about them, I don’t think we're going to be able to fix them with a new president.
“Part of the problem is, you know, we’re not going to elect the new president tomorrow and he’s not going to take office the day after that — obviously, people are concerned about our domestic economy, but we’re going to have an election in 14 months for four years that end in January of 2017,” said Bolton. “And the issues are going to be different down the road — and I think national security is going to be a more important priority. If we don’t know what the Republican candidates think beyond bumper sticker phrases here or there, then I think it gives Obama an advantage that we shouldn’t let him have, given how deleterious his policies have been for the past two-and-a-half years.”
Van Susteren asked why Bolton had reached such a definitive decision after previously hinting he might consider a presidential run.
“Because I kept coming to the conclusion that I couldn’t possibly win the nomination and I didn’t like that answer,” Bolton said. “So I went back and revisited my assumptions and the data — I think I would have had a lot of support. I think I could have raised money.
“But I think . . . that foreign policy is not a winning issue — I don’t think that’s right,” he said. “I think for the voters especially in Republican primaries, the deep, very strong feelings of patriotism that they have — their antipathy toward a president who’s constantly apologizing for America and who looks and is weak and indecisive — is a powerful motivating force that some presidential candidate is going to capture.”
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