Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton endorsed Mitt Romney in an appearance on Fox News last night. Bolton was offered a cabinet position as Secretary of State in a prospective Newt Gingrich administration but his endorsement of Romney puts the hawkish former diplomat squarely in the Romney camp. Bolton told Greta Van Susteren that “Romney is conservative enough for me” and Romney is an acceptable candidate only because Bolton isn’t running himself:
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: Tell the viewers. Who are you endorsing sir?
JOHN BOLTON: Well I’m going to support Mitt Romney. I’ve thought about this very hard and it’s an extraordinarily important decision for the Republican party. [...]
BOLTON: Well let me put it this way, looking at the whole range of prospective candidates there was only one prospective candidate who met my test as the ideal conservative but he decided not to run.
VAN SUSTEREN: Who’s that? I guess that’s you?
BOLTON: I guess he’s sitting here. So faced with everyone else, I followed the William F. Buckley Jr. test which is to find the most conservative candidate who is capable of getting elected. There are obviously two variables there. But in the words of that old song, “gimme that old time religion, Romney’s conservative enough for me.”
Watch the clip:
Bolton’s controversial past might not give a boost to Romney’s presidential campaign but it offers some indication that the hawkish foreign policy wing of the Republican party is shifting into the Romney camp. Bolton’s career as U.N. ambassador was only made possible by a recess appointment after the Senate refused to confirm him and he has maintained close ties to the Islamophobic far-right and regularly calls for war with Iran. In 2010, he wrote the foreword for Islamophobes Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller’s book “The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America.”
Over the summer, Bolton teased Fox News viewers — where he appears as a paid commentator — with the possibility of a presidential run but later announced he would not be running.