Former Bush administration U.N. ambassador John Bolton responded to Newt Gingrich’s commitment to the Republican Jewish Committee that he would appoint Bolton as his Secretary of State if elected president. Bolton downplayed Gingrich’s statement and clarified that he wouldn’t commit to serving in a Gingrich administration and that Gingrich hadn’t offered him the job. He told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren:
He hasn’t spoken to me yet so it’s obviously very flattering. I’m honored that anybody would say that. But I think it’s really presumptuous for people in that position to be accepting or not. The focus has to be on nominating the best candidate we can and replacing President Obama. I think there’s some advantage to candidates talking about who they might have in their cabinet… It helps the candidates show what their priorities are and the direction of their thinking.
Indeed, appointing Bolton as Secretary of State would say a great deal about Gingrich’s priorities. Bolton is a highly divisive figure — he said, “The [UN] Secretariat Building in New York has 38 stories. If you lost ten stories today, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.” The Senate refused to confirm him as U.N. ambassador back in 2006. More recently, Bolton has forged ties to the Islamophobic far-right and wrote the foreword to anti-Muslim bloggers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer’s book, The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America. (HT: Christian Heinze)