Bolton: Obama administration 'plain wrong' on Egypt
February 12th, 2011
03:10 PM ET
11 years ago

Bolton: Obama administration 'plain wrong' on Egypt

Washington (CNN) - Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton condemned President Obama as "weak" and "indecisive" on foreign affairs while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference Saturday.

And specifically on the topic of the revolution in Egypt, Bolton stated "We don't have the leadership in the White House that can deal with it."

CPAC is the largest annual gathering of conservative-minded activists, which this year is extra-important because it's the first cattle-call of potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates.

Bolton described the Obama administration's approach to Egypt as "hesitant, inconsistent, confused, and just plain wrong."

Bolton recognized the Egyptian call for democracy, but questioned the administration's answer. "We have some degree of optimism, we can recognize that many of the people are legitimately calling for liberty and democracy as we see it," he said.

"But we know it is a responsibility of our government to protect our government and our friends and our allies," he continued, "Never forget Theodore Roosevelt's response: first and foremost we must make the world safe for ourselves."

Recommending a "careful and prudent approach," Bolton cautioned that "A democratic election can produce illiberal results. If you want to see what a Muslim Brotherhood looks like when it takes control, look at Hamas in the Gaza strip, it's not pretty."

"There is no guarantee that democratic forces can keep things moving in the right direction," he warned.

Finding fault with Obama's treatment of national security, Bolton said, "This is a critical time where we need a president who understands priorities, not somebody who's concerned with staying on top of media spin cycle."

And at a time when budget recommendations are a hot topic for discussion, Bolton offered some of his own.

"This is not the time for indiscriminate budget cuts in our national defense budget. A dollar well spent on defense is much more important than a dollar spent in the Agriculture department, the Interior department."

He closed with a rallying call to the audience, affirming, "We do not accept an American economy that is weak overtaxed and over-regulated. We do not accept an American military that is weak and poorly equipped. And in particular we do not accept an American president who is weak, indecisive, and apologetic."

Filed under: CPAC 2011 • John Bolton
soundoff (164 Responses)
  1. David

    Former recess appointment. U.S. Ambassador

    February 12, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  2. Anthony

    Anytime this President is successful in doing something here comes his pundits from the Right. President Obama could help and old lady by opening the door and he would be criticized for not carrying her through the doorway. Shut up Bolton! You clowns have messed up the country in a way that it will take us years to fix!

    February 12, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. gediye

    Obama handled it perfectly. He chose to keep our nose out of Egypt's business as we should all around the world. Thankfully we have a real leader in the US and not someone like Bush or you. GOP all they believe in is greed, power and hatred. Please stop!!!!!!!!!! This is embarrassing.

    February 12, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. John

    In 'Bolton/Bush Speak,' this means, "We should have invaded somebody!"

    February 12, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. Jack

    You're right, Bolton. We should invade Egypt, put in a puppet gov't, kill hundreds of thousands of Egyptians, and shove democracy down their throats the way we did in Iraq. That, I guess, is your and your gang's idea of strength. Is Egypt's future uncertain. Yes it is. But we must learn how to deal with uncertainty and stop trying to control the world. The Egyptians may actually respect us for the way Obama handled the situation AND it might just turn out to be a real democracy. By us staying out the negative forces cannot point to us as trying to manipulate and form their gov't. I can see how you flunked Diplomacy 101.

    February 12, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. Garnett

    Are the Republicans saying that democracy is good for America, and oppression is fine if it makes Americans safe. Republican Americans - the real Dictators! Did I hear life , liberty and happiness.......

    February 12, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. Former Republican, now an Independent

    How would John Bolton know. He was appointed to the job in an underhanded deal by George W. Bush, because congress didn't believe he was qualified. He went on to prove that congress was right !

    February 12, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. mr. mark

    Bolton's views on foreign policy are second only to Ribbentrop. If you don't know who he is look up the name.

    February 12, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  9. crneal

    as a fervent supporter of authoritarianism, john bolton is a depraved scumbag in no position to cast judgement on the obama administration. he's an embarrassment to the united states and the human race.

    February 12, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. Mike-WA

    You have just got to love modern-day Christianity. So arrogant as to believe that the rest of the world should suffer oppression, poverty, toil and torture so that the United States can be safe and happy. If it weren’t so sad and insane it might be funny.

    February 12, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. whoa!

    Hey little fascist... zip it and let the adults handle it. You and your cabal of fascist have caused more destruction and loss of life than the rest of the world will ever know!

    Please go back into your neo-fascist, oopps, I mean neo-con(I always do get those two mixed up!) sandbox and play war there where you can't really hurt anybody......

    In other words... get lost!!!!

    February 12, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. artraveler

    Bolton was one of the neo-con leaders whose answer to everything is to bomb them out of existence. Just what would he want the US to do in another soverign country? Oh right, this was one of the leaders to go into Iraq and we saw howe many lives and dollars were wasted there to give them a country with less than when we started. Maybe there is a reason why people overseas hate us and it is Republican insistence that only we (meaning Republicans) are smart enough to run the world.

    Sir, why don't you just butt out AGAIN!

    February 12, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  13. NVa Native

    Bolton is a total freak. So full of arrogance ..... he has been wrong on just about everything. Remmber his preaching about WMDs!!

    February 12, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. Pretzel Logic

    If John Bolton disapproves then you can bet that it was brilliant foreign policy. He's an utterly contemptible failure of a human being.

    February 12, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. willie floyd

    Is anyone here surprised that every right wing nut job is criticizing the president?? I'm not-but I've decided to let it be like water on a ducks' back! There isn't an intelligent Rep. left in our country. I only pray that the uninformed who vote for Reps. in the mid-terms have learned a valuable lesson-they're not concerned about middle class America, only their religious
    fanatics who want to turn our country into a theocracy. Firm believer in separation of church & state!
    Don't just post on this site-call your congressmen and the White House!!!

    February 12, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |

    If it was up to this idiot he's nuke the area, yet HE thinks the President was wrong, weak?!? Luckily we have a President that uses his brain.

    February 12, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  17. NVa Native

    sanctimoneous – yea that's a good discription of this cartoon looking school yard bully wanna-bee.
    Or just arrogant prick would work.

    February 12, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. Jeff in Virginia

    Bolton, proving his incompetence yet again. Must be sour grapes over not being confirmable.

    February 12, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. fred

    Here we go! Bolton is such a moron who doesn't know the first thing about politics in other countries. How can someone so ignorant have been in a political position in the past?

    February 12, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  20. JEJ

    Shut your piehole, John. There's a reason you're out of the UN. Shoo. Back under your rock.

    February 12, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  21. bkubala

    Bolton and his pack of wolves in sheep's clothing already took this flock of sheep to slaughter once. Realistically, there was little the president could do but watch with the rest of us what happened in Egypt. The last thing we needed to do was get involved, as they didn't want us there...just like the other nations we've invaded recently. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is nothing.

    He and his like can't stand it that the economy and job market are beginning to show signs of life after undergoing 2 years of CPR. Now, they will do ANYTHING put the economy back in a coma before the next election cycle. Cuts in education funding won't hurt their children in private schools. The rest of us will watch our schools lose ground to the competion. What a bunch of tools!

    February 12, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. Jack in Florida

    Bolton is irrelevant!! He just wants his name in the news so he can throw his hat in the ring. Your time is up!!

    February 12, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  23. shoegazer

    Nothing like continued imperialistic overreach to produce blowback.How's that working out for the GOP?

    February 12, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  24. Ken in NC

    Well I guess CNN and John Bolton didn't appreciate me referring to Bolton as a stupid idiot so they removed my comment. I guess I should apologize to Mr Bolton for calling him that. My apologizies Mr Bolton for calling you a stupid idiot. I was of the impression that was what one would call a stupid idiot after they made stupid comments like the ones you made.

    February 12, 2011 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  25. FactCheck

    Really? Now CNN is listening to what Wally Walrus has to say? When has this dolt been right about anything??

    February 12, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
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