Some People in the Romney Campaign Really Don’t Like John Bolton
There have been a number of stories like this one over the last few weeks with anonymous Romney aides trashing John Bolton. From the Washington Post:
Some in the more moderate GOP foreign policy establishment have shuddered over Romney statements calling Russia America’s “number one geopolitical foe” and suggestions of postponing the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Others have expressed private alarm over some of his more outspoken surrogates on the right, in particular John Bolton, the neoconservative former U.S. ambassador at the United Nations.
People who are “wigged out” by Bolton are “overstating his involvement” in the campaign, said one senior adviser. But Bolton is seen as a useful spokesman to the far right who can articulately expound Romney’s virtues and offer the conservative red meat others might shy away from.
(I always love it when they call us the “far right.”)
Then, there’s the contempt the press heaps on him. Here’s an item from the FT about the elevation of Robert Zoellick to head of Romney’s foreign-policy transition:
John Bolton — the very epitome of swaggering nationalism — loathes Zoellick. I have seen the two clash publicly. Some had even suggested that Bolton might be Secretary of State under Romney. That would be a disaster. It is both telling and encouraging, therefore, that the paleo-conservatives in the GOP have reacted badly to news of Zoellick’s appointment.
I hope and expect that Bolton wears their scorn as a badge of honor. As ever, he has the right enemies.