Former UN ambassador John Bolton returned to New Hampshire Friday to explore a Republican bid for president, days after forming a non-profit organization to promote a hawkish American foreign policy.
In the Granite State, Bolton spoke at a “Politics and Eggs” breakfast in front of local businesses leaders at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. He then had lunch in Manchester with Scott Brown, the former Massachusetts senator who ran unsuccessfully for Senate from New Hampshire last fall.
Bolton said he wants to make foreign policy a bigger topic in the 2016 presidential campaign, particularly among Republicans.
“Either the Republican Party gets a candidate who can address national security issues from a traditional position of peace through strength, the Reagan approach, or we are going to be in trouble for the 2016 election,” said Bolton. He said he believes voters want to hear from candidates on issues like terrorism.
However, as Bolton made his third trip to New Hampshire in the past year, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who shares Bolton’s views and passion on national security issues, has an aide in New Hampshire helping him explore his own presidential run.
Bolton said he doesn’t see Graham as a threat to his own potential campaign but rather an important additional voice in the debate.
What I am looking for is a much more thorough and robust debate than saying that there is one candidate who agrees with you,” Bolton said. “I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. Then if nobody else stepped up to it, we would be back in the same position.”
Earlier this week Bolton set up a non-profit group called the Foundation for American Security and Freedom. Last year he set up a political action committee allowing him to raise and spend money to explore a run for president.James Pindell can be reached at James.Pindell@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jamespindell.