- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 19, 2015

John Bolton plans to be in New Hampshire over the next couple days as part of his push to make sure that foreign policy issues do not get short shrift in the 2016 presidential race.

Mr. Bolton, who served U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under George W. Bush, said he is considering a presidential run of his own, but said the primary goal of this trip to the first-in-the-nation primary state is to make sure international affairs are “back in the center of the overall political debate.”

“Since the principle function of a presidency is national security, I just think we have to do whatever is necessary to get it back into the center of the public’s attention,” Mr. Bolton told The Washington Times.

As part of that effort, he plans on Thursday to announce the formation of the Foundation for American Security and Freedom, a nonprofit group “that aims to restore and protect America’s vital national security interests and preserve America’s way of life.”

“There is no substitute for U.S. global leadership to shape the international security environment and defend against new threats to our country and our allies,” the group’s mission statement says.

“Increasingly, our friends do not trust us or respect us, and our enemies and potential enemies do not fear us. We must reverse the decline in our military capabilities by funding, with our allies, a force structure to deter threats and defend America’s global interests.”

On Friday, he is scheduled to appear Friday at a “Politics & Eggs” event at Saint Anselm College’s New Hampshire Institute of Politics.

The 66-year-old also plans to meet with state GOP leaders and former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, who lost his 2014 bid for the Senate in the Granite State.

Mr. Bolton is a fierce critic of the Obama administration’s approach to foreign policy, warning that the White House has “led from behind” and weakened the United States on the international front at a time when the world is getting more dangerous, pointing to, among other things, Russia’s meddling in Ukraine, Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon and the growing threat of global terrorism.

He says the GOP is the “national security party” and must to push for a more muscular foreign policy that is anchored in the idea of American exceptionalism. And he warns against listening to the “neo-isolationists” wing of the GOP — alluding in part to another of his favorite targets: Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a likely 2016 contender, who has warned against military adventurism overseas.

“I think a lot of people who are attracted to people with libertarian views on domestic issues will be appalled when they find out what their foreign policy views are,” Mr. Bolton said.

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