Daily Israel Report

John Bolton Eyes White House in 2012

Former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton, who has advised Israel to strike Iran before it is too late, says he may run for president in 2012.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 12/19/2010, 3:16 PM / Last Update: 12/19/2010, 3:23 PM

John Bolton, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations who has advised Israel to strike Iran before it is too late, says he may run for president in 2012.

He told Politco.com Saturday, "As I survey the situation, I think the Republican field is wide open. I don't think the party's anywhere close to a decision. And stranger things have happened. For example, inexperienced senators from Illinois have gotten presidential nominations," referring to U.S. President Barack Obama, who served only three years in the Senate before being elected president in 2008.

Bolton, who recently was interviewed by Israel National Radio, has often stated that sanctions against Iran are useless and that the only way to stop it from becoming a nuclear threat is to stage a military strike.

Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee are leading candidates for the Republican nomination, but none of them can match Bolton’s foreign policy experience.

Palin’s popularity is increasingly considered to be restricted to a strong minority, and she frequently has shown that she is not acquainted with foreign affairs. She recently mistakenly referred to North Korea as American’s ally. Palin is expected to visit Israel early next year and has thoroughly backed Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria.

Huckabee is solidly pro-Israel and recently spoke at the annual Beit El fundraising dinner in New York.

“I think national security is central to America's safety and well-being, and I don't think this president understands that,” Bolton told Politico.

"Let's face it, Obama gives a good speech," he said. "He will have been commander-in-chief, in name at least, for four years. He'll be able to do a good imitation of a commander-in-chief. If the Republican nominee isn't able to show his inadequacies, we'll be in real trouble."

“The case for Bolton is a straightforward one,” according to Politico. “He would be the national security candidate. As he sees it, there wouldn’t be any meaningful competition for that designation. Republican primary voters would cotton to his confrontational style and his ability to target what conservatives see as a major vulnerability for President Barack Obama.”

Bolton admitted that Americans are more concerned with domestic issues rather than foreign policy but commented, "That is something that should and can be altered as people see the nature of the threats around the world that we face. Nearly all the experts I've talked to have told me that candidates, in the early days, need a discriminator — something that distinguishes them from the rest of the candidates. I'm just not Generic Governor A or Generic Governor B."

The former ambassador is known for bold statements, such as suggesting that the United States should stop funding the United Nations. In another remark, he referred to bloated U.N. bureaucracy by saying, “It would not make a bit of difference" if the United Nations got rid of 10 stories from its building.

Bolton is a popular commentator on Fox News, regarded as a conservative media outlet.