John Bolton PACs Raise $2M to Support Foreign Policy Hawks

Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 05:10 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton, who's vowed a "very targeted, very focused" approach to spending money from his new political-action committees on candidates with strong foreign policy views, has raised nearly $2 million since November, National Review Online reported Tuesday.

Bolton's PAC and super PAC were to file a report with the Federal Election Commission later Tuesday detailing the donations, NRO reported, adding the the filing will include $1.1 million raised in the first quarter of 2014.

That amount includes $500,000 from Warren Stephens, chairman of a Little Rock, Ark.-based investment firm, reports.

NRO reported Bolton's PAC has $318,000 cash on hand, and his super PAC over $1.1 million, with the donors including Home Depot cofounder Bernie Marcus and conservative philanthropist Roger Hertog, along with 7,000 small donors.

"We are very pleased with our results both in the first quarter and since we started," Bolton told NRO.

"The grassroots support and the number of contributors in the early days prove two things: First, Americans care strongly about our country’s national security and second, they are deeply concerned about the harm caused to that security over the last five years. Our results demonstrate that candidates supporting a strong America will have the people behind them."

NRO reported Bolton's PACs come amid "a larger pushback" within the GOP against "war-weariness" and "an increasing skepticism of foreign entanglements among some of the party's most outspoken politicians."

For example, NRO pointed out the Emergency Committee for Israel has launched a television ad slamming North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones for his liberal views on foreign policy.

Story continues below video.

In an exclusive interview with last month, Bolton said he hoped to make an impact in 2016, but perhaps in the midterms as well.

“We had a very, very good March,” Bolton told the news outlet. “We've got criteria and we're evaluating candidates to support,” adding: “I don't rule out at all getting in to Republican primaries."

Bolton told Politico when he launched his foreign-policy super PAC last November he intended to test the belief by many that "Americans don’t care about foreign policy."

"I don't believe that," he said then. "I think it’s the political operatives who are wrong."
In his March interview with Breitbart, Bolton explained his involvement as reflecting "a lot of frustration out there [among Republicans] who sat out 2012."

"I'm going to do it very differently," he said in his March 24 sitdown with Breitbart.

"[There is] the feeling that a lot of the money was not well spent. My conclusion, particularly since we are talking about House and Senate races, is we will be very targeted, very focused. My operating assumption is we will have very narrowly targeted ads with a lot [of focus] on digital communications. I think really for younger voters that's absolutely critical."

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