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. agatha alston

    President Obama did an excellent job!!! Just look at the results!!! Duh!!!!!

    February 12, 2011 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  2. Bob Tupper

    "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." Bolton is wrong on every point. Taxes are the lowest they've been in decades, it was deregulation that led to the financial collapse, and our military is bloated and over-funded. At best, Bolton is uninformed: at worst, he is simply a liar.

    February 12, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  3. Marcus

    Gaylon Barrow – Why do GOPers think that we fall fot the 'I was/used to be a democrat...' ruse that day yes and day no they try to pull on us? Ronald Reagan was a Democrat who turned Republican. When he was a (D) he did believe in the (D) agenda, and when he became a (R) he was true at heart with the (R) agenda.
    And was never as unreallistically bitter as all you 'former' dems.

    February 12, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  4. Ron

    Republicans have criticized Obama for not taking a strong enough stand on democracy for Egypt. Republicans (including Bolton) criticize him for not backing the current dictatorship. The order of the day is simply this: criticize ANYTHING Obama does and from as many angles as possible, even if they contradict each other. The truth, balance, good policy, intelligence, consistency, all be damned. All in the service of the primary goal–which is, by the way, not to try to benefit the PEOPLE of the US, but to defeat Obama.

    February 12, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  5. Nadeem

    CPAC has been a total embarrassment. We got a path to democracy in the most populous country in the middle east without loss of American blood or treasury. The Arab street likes us as opposed to hates us. This is the biggest blow to the Al-Quida cause ever, and the GOP complains? Get a grip the GOP is losing all credibility if they criticize this.

    February 12, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  6. Marcus

    Bolton was praised as the UN 'savior' by the far rights when he was sent there by GWB, it didn't took too long for him to be considered what he is today. Aman who has only ONE opinion and solution to all kinds of problems, no matter how many times it does not work he will keep saying 'do this cause this is the RIGHT thing to do' over and over again.
    And people don't understand why when Obama was a candidate and was so well admired by the countries he dropped by. Because with Obama the world would have somebody who listen, instead of just parroting the same old stuff without a rest, when they had to talk with the US. Whoever was that Obama appointed to talk with them.

    February 12, 2011 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  7. Mark

    What a fool. People like Bolton are the true dictators of the world. And, karmically, their methods always backfire, requiring trillions in military responses and continuing the cycle of absurdity.

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

    This sounds like a repeat from someone on "fox news."
    If you want to be educated about anything, watch the Rachel Maddow Show.

    February 12, 2011 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  9. kyle

    This is coming from a party that attacked an innocent Country for WMD's, and costs thousands of lives.

    February 12, 2011 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  10. Darth Vadik, CA

    Oh Jesus, the man who was wrong about everything from Iraq to Iran and North korea has nerve to speak about Obama politics.

    When conservatives complain (more than usual) it really makes me think that Obama must be doing a lot of things right.

    February 12, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  11. Morty

    As Obama said if he claimed there were fish in the sea ,a republican would dispute the statement.The only good thing that came out of CPAC was Ron Paul winning the straw vote!!!Wow what a novelty.Someone who knows the constitution and would govern the country based on it

    February 12, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  12. ArmyCSM

    Frankly my friends, CPAC, with its rah, rah, one term president talk has done more this week to re-elect PRESIDENT Obama than his own organizers can ever do-priceless... Remember the he can't possibly win the presidency comment "he's just a community Organizer" as they laughed!!. Ha, Ha, Haaaaa! Jocko shouldn't laugh, too ugly.

    February 12, 2011 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  13. chris24

    who gave him the microphone?

    what a nazi neo-con creep!

    February 12, 2011 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  14. more lies from HUSSENI obama

    why does it seem so out of sorts, Obama is a muslim and hell bent on the destruction of America and if you look deep enough you will find pics of his spendy wife in her face mask and head gear. They are all muslims and obama is part of the brotherhood himself, lie muslim with out a birth certificate all lies from HUSSENI Obama MUSLIM.

    February 12, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  15. Bob Ramos

    Bolton is the same as the other Repub speakers at this event – none of them have one specific alternative to the actions taken by Obama. On Egypt – someone needs to ask them, what specifically did Obama do wrong and what specifically would you have done differently.

    On Obama making apologies on his trips – the only ones making that claim are fox news and folks that hate him anyway like Hannity, Coulter and Rush.

    February 12, 2011 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  16. boatnmaniac

    Bolton is a prime example of why the Republican Party is getting ripped apart from the inside and of why the extreme right of the Republican Party/Tea Party is ripping apart this country. Obama's response to Egypt was right on. By supporting the protestors call for freedom and rights and offering aid and assistance to Egypt post-Mubarak he took appropriate steps toward establishing good-will with the Egyptian peoples and potentially gaining a good ally. If he had done as Bolton wanted, he would have surely ensured a future hostile Egypt.

    February 12, 2011 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  17. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    A dollar well spent on defense is much more important than a dollar spent for education, infrastructure, or scientific, medical or technical research. Just ask the Chinese.

    February 12, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  18. Ed

    I love coming to the CNN message boards, reading the comments here is absolutely hilarious. Apparently this is where the lower IQ groupthink, media driven imbeciles come to all agree with what the liberal media tells them – too funny!

    February 12, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  19. Marcus in Greensboro, NC

    It's funny how the people of Egypt got rid of their dictator without an invasion from us, and yet Iraq is not thriving and got an invasion from us. I think Obama handled this correctly by not interfering with what the people of Egypt were doing. He has always sided with the people of oppressive regimes, but he keeps his hands off because he doesn't want us to seem like we are trying to take over like we have done in the past. Our past strategies under idiots like Bush and Bolton did not work. That's why we're still wasting money on two failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    February 12, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  20. Doyle Wiley, MI

    Mr Bolton your an idiot.

    February 12, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  21. Stan mt

    What I am starting to think is that anything short of “guns a blazin – shock and awe” is considered weak and indecisive foreign policy for these guys. Gee, it has worked so well in the past...

    February 12, 2011 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  22. D. Bunker

    Only days ago, Bolton was praising the President's handling of Egypt. I guess Bolton got some new marching orders from his billionaire corporate masters since that time.

    February 12, 2011 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  23. JoY

    Bolton you have bolted from the truth. You are ugly in both deeds and looks

    February 12, 2011 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  24. marty

    No one associated with the former administration has any credibility when it comes to foreign affairs.

    February 12, 2011 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  25. are a big PIG

    yes i agree with the terms and long as you let this BOLTON read my opinion.

    February 12, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
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