Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton told a receptive crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday that it is time to replace the Obama-Kerry-Clinton-Biden foreign policy of “drift, decline, and defeatism” with a Reaganite foreign policy of “peace through strength.”
Obama “is uninterested in U.S. national security. He considers our strength part of the problem,” Bolton said, citing a 2009 Obama speech in which the president said “no world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed” as an example.
Bolton pointed to Republican Teddy Roosevelt as a better model for the use of American power in the world. “The answer was provided by Teddy Roosevelt, ” Bolton stated, “who said ‘first and foremost we are to make the world safe for ourselves.’ “
Bolton also cautioned against the rise of isolationism among some conservatives. “There are those even within our movement who say America will be safe enough if we do nothing. . . Let’s call this what it is… isolationism.”
Bolton said that “multilateralism and isolationism don’t protect the United States.” He added that “[i]gnoring threats to our national security is the Obama Doctrine. The contrast with Republicans could not be clearer. Republicans believe in peace through strength not isolationism or multilateralism.”
Bolton noted that “Adam Smith wrote that ‘the first duty of the sovereign is protecting a society from the violence of other nations.’ Republicans call a strong defense budget the vital margin of safety.”
Bolton blasted Obama’s dealing with Russia, saying “Vladimir Putin has a strategy. Obama has nothing.” Bolton noted that Russia has bolstered Assad’s regime in Syria, is selling weapons to Egypt, and is “re-establishing influence in Cuba and Venezuela.”
Bolton also stated that Obama is failing to respond to the rising challenge from China, which is establishing its “first blue water [ocean as opposed to river] naval capability in 600 years.” In addition, Bolton noted that “China has the best cyber warfare capability of any country on earth.”
The Obama administration policy on terrorism has also failed, according to Bolton.“Obama’s Director of National Intelligence testified a few weeks ago that we are no safer than we were on 9-11 (2001),” he said. In addition, he noted that “the black flag of Al Qaeda now flies” in key cities in Iraq.
Bolton saved his harshest criticism of President Obama’s foreign policy for Libya.
“Since then,” Bolton charged, “the President has done nothing to avenge Chris Stevens’ death.” Foreign powers see this action, Bolton said, and conclude that “under Barack Obama you can murder his personal representative and get away scot-free”
“We do not accept an American President who is weak, indecisive, and apologetic about our country,” Bolton concluded, adding that “I’ve established a PAC and SuperPAC to help candidates in 2014 and 2016 who understand this.”
You can see Bolton’s full speech here: