Bolton Endorses McCain

| Sun Feb. 10, 2008 10:55 AM EST

Shoring up his support among hawks, the John McCain campaign has announced that John Bolton, President Bush's former ambassador to the UN, has endorsed him for president:

U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign today announced that former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton has endorsed John McCain for president. Ambassador Bolton issued the following statement on his endorsement:
"John McCain was very active and supportive during my confirmation hearings to be the U.S. Ambassador to the UN. His belief in me at that time was a testament to his courage to fight the liberals in the Senate and vigorously advance American interests at the UN.

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"I whole-heartedly endorse John McCain for President because when he takes office in January 2009 he will be prepared immediately to lead us. John will not need on the job training.

"American conservatives will have a President they can be proud of in John McCain."

In an article Friday elaborating on McCain's foreign policy worldview, McClatchy's foreign affairs correspondent Warren Strobel reported:

McCain's foreign-policy advisers are a mix of traditional Republican "realists," who favor a pragmatic approach to the world, and "neoconservatives," who lobbied for the Iraq invasion, advocate tougher action to squelch Iran's and North Korea's nuclear weapons ambitions and favor using U.S. power to transform the Muslim world.

McCain has broken with his party on some key issues. He's taken a more lenient stance on immigration, expressed greater concern about global climate change and opposed the Bush White House on the Guantanamo Bay prison and the use of interrogation techniques that could be considered torture. [...]

McCain already has indicated that he plans to use national security as a cudgel against the eventual Democratic nominee in the general election campaign.

In Norfolk, Va., on Friday, he talked tough on Iran and said he's best prepared to deal with security threats on his first day in office.

Democratic candidates Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama "want to set a date for withdrawal in Iraq. I believe that would have catastrophic consequences. They (terrorists) would try to follow us home," McCain said. [...]

McCain's foreign-policy team is sprinkled with people ... who were ardent backers of the 2003 Iraq invasion and who dismissed critics who warned of unintended consequences. They include former CIA Director James Woolsey, an adviser mostly on energy security, and William Kristol, the editor of the conservative Weekly Standard.

More signs that a McCain win would restore some of the most hawkish security minds who have seen their influence wane in the last couple years of the Bush presidency.

For more on Bolton's expectations for a McCain presidency on Iran, see my dispatch.

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