Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton decries President Barack Obama's foreign policy as a failure and says he's considering seeking the GOP nomination for president in part to give that and national security the top priority they deserve.
Obama's flawed policies are "not based in reality," the senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute said in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV at the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association in Pittsburgh. Up to 70,000 people are expected to attend the meeting this weekend.
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"It's based on the idea that somehow because of the Bush administration's actions in Iraq and in the global war on terrorism that the United States is held in low esteem and, in effect, if we give up on the global war on terrorism and withdraw from Iraq, that will be turned around. In fact, exactly the opposite has happened. "
The withdrawal from Iraq reduces U.S. influence in the Muslim world, and Obama administration policies encourage U.S. adversaries to challenge America, Bolton said.
"I think it's very important that national security issues have a much higher saliency in our national debate than we've had over the past two years," he said. "I don't think President Obama really gives foreign policy and security issues the kind of priority he should even though challenges to the United States are rising around the world."
Using that view as a segue to the fact that Bolton is considering seeking the GOP nod, he said, "So I think it's critical these issues be discussed at a national level during a presidential contest - and certainly running is one way to get that done."
On other issues, Bolton said:
- The United States has a strategic interest in removing Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi from power, but the administration's policy is doomed to failure.
- Iran is very close to achieving a nuclear weapons capability, and once it does, "the balance of power in the Mideast changes forever."
- The United States has come close to betraying Israel under the Obama administration. "I'd be very worried if I were an Israeli," Bolton said.
- The United Nations has "fundamental problems" and the U.S. influence is not nearly what it should be at the U.N.
- The Obama administration "is fundamentally anti-Second Amendment," and the president is just waiting to get a second term to go after gun rights.
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