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John Bolton endorses Mitt Romney

WASHINGTON - JULY 27: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who are re-considering his nomination on Capitol Hill July 27, 2006 in Washington, DC. U.S. President George W. Bush filled the U.N. post with Bolton last year with a recess appointment. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** John Bolton Library Tag 07282006 National / Foreign

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former UN ambassador John Bolton, seen in this 2006 file photo, has endorsed Mitt Romney.

Former UN Ambassador John Bolton, who himself considered a presidential run, has endorsed Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

In a statement yesterday, Bolton said Romney “possesses the strongest vision for America’s leadership role in the world.” “President Obama has sapped America’s credibility abroad, weakened our military, and failed to lead on issues vital to US national security,” Bolton said. “Mitt Romney will restore our military, repair relations with our closest allies, and ensure that no adversary—including Iran—ever questions American resolve.”

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Bolton announced the endorsement Wednesday on Fox News’ “On the Record” with Greta van Susteren, calling Romney “the person who can best lead the party, best articulate our conservative principles, and is most likely to beat Barack Obama.” Bolton cited Romney’s view of American exceptionalism and his recognition of “the importance of a vigorous American role in the world to defend our interests.”

Asked about criticism that Romney is too moderate, Bolton responded, “I followed the William F. Buckley, Jr. test, which is to find the most conservative candidate who is capable of getting elected….Romney’s conservative enough for me, and I think he’s the one most likely to get elected.”

In a statement, Romney called Bolton “a staunch defender of US interests and values,” and said he would be consulting with him on foreign policy. “John’s wisdom, clarity, and courage are qualities that should typify our foreign policy,” Romney said.

Bolton considered a run for president as late as August, when he wrote in the conservative newspaper “Human Events” that if no Republican candidate makes the case that economic recovery is intertwined with strong national security, Bolton would get in the race. He later decided not to run.

Bolton was the US ambassador to the United Nations from August 2005 to December 2006. He was under secretary of state for arms control and international security under President George W. Bush. Before that, he served in the administrations of President George H.W. Bush and President Reagan. He is now an attorney, as well as a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Shira Schoenberg can be reached at sschoenberg@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shiraschoenberg.

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