Bolton: Obama administration 'plain wrong' on Egypt
February 12th, 2011
03:10 PM ET
12 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. Bonnie

    John Bolton is a neanderthal man who needs to be reeducated....i can't believe his words...insane.

    February 12, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Uh... Obama is President of the United States... NOT President of the WORLD. When are you Repubs gonna get that through your think heads!! I was under the impression that self determination was a good thing...

    February 12, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. The reality is...

    You left- leaning bloggers wouldn't know the truth if it slapped you in the face. You should listen to Bolton; he clearly understands what's at stake. Oh forget it... no way to get through to you

    February 12, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  4. Cons are crazy

    The conservatives in the USA want to define democracy as any govt tt comes in their favour. U re wrong & U tt worked with G.W. Bush to screw up Iraq & feel U have any legacy to defend. Ur idiotic "war on terror" fueled the global financial crisis. U should leave pple alone to have their countries back & be able to choose either Muslim Brothers or whatever. Moreover, the dictators who end up embezzling their countries resources save them in Swiss, USA or western banks. Give us a break u crazies of the likes of Dick Cheney or John Bolton.

    February 12, 2011 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. lenoirlady

    Bolton the brilliant – always depend on his wisdom, it has been so obvious over the years.................not.

    February 12, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. RKN

    It appears that any country that is Pro-US can have any kind of government at all. We have supported and defended dictators who are Pro-US.
    But, if you are not pro-US it does not matter if you are a democracy or not – we will work to find a reason to invade you.
    Bolton was not confirmed by congress because he was a "kiss-up and kick-down" bureaucrat and had no diplomatic skills. Why is anyone listening to this? Because he supports the republican / tea party view of the world that is an us vs them mentality.

    February 12, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. Paul

    People like Bolton only make enemies for the United States of America. The same Bolton says get rid of Castro and Chavez because they refuse to do have democratic elections. Now, he is saying don't allow Egypt to have democratic elections. Jesus!!!! Where are we going with these folks? He is more confused than Obama, I think. Does he know what he wants?

    February 12, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  8. Matt

    He offers NO alternative most conservatives...all bluster...NO IDEAS

    February 12, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  9. Roscoe

    If there's one thing Bolton knows's about being wrong. He's a disgrace but that could make him the perfect VP candidate to go with Sarah Palin. Dumb and Dumber

    February 12, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  10. Nitty

    Really! Mr. Bolton i'm sure you and your republican buddies have been trying to warn The President for the past few months that Eygpt was a tinderbox ready to explode! I remember seeing you on Fox News telling us the dangers of the Muslim Brotherhood! NOT!! You nor your cronies had a clue, hell I doubt you even knew who the Muslim Brotherhood was til 2 weels ago! So stop acting like you're in the know, you sir don't know anything!

    February 12, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  11. Steve

    Who cares what this nobody has to say.

    February 12, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  12. Daniel

    Seems like mostly everyone is satisfied with the progress in Egypt, including Israel. Mostly non-violent, and his resignation was expedited. Seems like the only people not satisfied are members of the Republican Party.

    February 12, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  13. Dave

    This man is a moron

    February 12, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  14. InlandEmperor

    This individual lost any credibility he may have had a long time ago. His fellow neocon Bush "lite" brigade left this country in the worst condition anyone cares to remember. He's fortunate that CNN... or any other legitimate news agency...would even publish anything he hasto say. It says something good about our country. One might legitimately wonder if that would have occurred during the Bush "lite" debacle.

    February 12, 2011 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    Gaylon Barrow: For someone who goes on about Democrats not being smart, you sure as heck can't write a grammatically correct English sentence (let alone one that makes logical sense).

    February 12, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  16. Jo-MN

    Who keeps letting this guy talk? His opinion is meaningless.

    February 12, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain

    Hey, Bolton, I thought the whole reason for invading Iraq was to "spread democracy in the Middle East." Well, here's a news flash for you, buddy boy: When people are free to hold elections, they may not pick someone YOU want.

    And it's jerks like you that make the world WANT to do things that don't benefit America.

    February 12, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  18. Former GOPer

    Have another drink you useless rummy!

    February 12, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  19. A

    George Bush in his 2004 SOTU wanted democracy for Egypt. But somehow coming from Obama it is different. All these people at this convention as sucking up to the Tea Party, the KKK without the hoods.

    February 12, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  20. Richard Meyers

    Doesn't he belong to the Christian Brotherhood?

    February 12, 2011 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  21. Josaphat Daniels.

    Modern day Christianity is looking more and more than the pharisees and the saducees

    February 12, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  22. Margie

    And the walrus is an expert on Egypt ....WHY. I guess the republicans would love for this country to be ruled by a republican dicatorship Egypt was ruled by a dicatorship propped up by republican administrations and money.

    By the way – who got most of that money the US sent to Egypt, not the people, according to the banks the dicator's cup doth run over and over and over.

    February 12, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  23. Oy Vey Az

    Don't listen to this old walrus. His openly discussed reputation as a back stabbing sob was well known. Who the devil is paying for this mouth to speak?

    February 12, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  24. Judith_NY

    By the time these Defense Hawks finish spending all our money on defending us, there'll be nothing left to protect! Who'll want to take over a country with no jobs, no infrastructure, no economy, no educational system, and no safe food or water. Heck, the Mexicans will be sneaking over to Egypt for work.

    February 12, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  25. George T

    contrary to most comments. I believe Lord BO is weak and we need a strong president internationaly. I suggest some of you buy afew plane tickests visit Chin, India, Brazil and what of the middle east you feel safe in visiting. Most Stupid Americans feel well traveled when the leave the government tit and go on a cruise. I feel the government first should protect me and mine and the heck with the others. That is the way of the world if you jerks haven't noticed. What was wrong with going into Iraq to stablize the oil of the Middle East. you sure like to bitch when OPEC raises the price of oil. AW gee poor stupid Americans can't afford gas.

    February 12, 2011 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
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