John Bolton, Criticizer-in-Chief

“I think the risk of this obsession with the ‘peace process’ is that the inevitable failure of these talks coming up leave the United States in a worse position in the region and around the world than if we had never undertaken it to begin with,” he said. “[G]iven there is no interlocutor on the Palestinian side that can make difficult commitments and then carry through on them, given the extent of the gaps in the positions of the two parties, failure seems to me to be inevitable. And when you combine that with many other things going on in the region – our failure to stop the Iranian nuclear weapons plan, our withdrawal from Iraq, our commitment to withdrawal from Afghanistan – it just gives a broad impression of American weakness that our adversaries will take advantage of and our friends will be concerned about.”

While Bolton has been most focused on criticizing the president’s foreign policy, he says he is also very concerned about the president’s domestic agenda.

“I think this is the most radical president we have ever had,” he said, before naming the health care bill, the auto industry bailout, and financial regulation as examples of this radicalism. “I think this is the dream of leftwing America come true and the only good news is I really think this is their high water mark. Anything they don’t get now they are never going to get. If we do this right, we can roll a lot of it back and begin the task of reducing the scope of federal government activities in our economy.”

Given his criticism of government overreach in the economy, does this mean Bolton considers himself a Tea Partier?

“I’ve never attended any Tea Party functions,” he said. But, he added, if the movement is, as he understands it, “a true grassroots movement of people who are absolutely outraged at the extent that the Obama administration has bungled its economic policy, overspent dramatically, risked creating a deficit that will burden us for generations” than he thinks “it is pointed in exactly the right direction” and he is “all in favor of” it.

Asked about the president’s plan to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ Bolton said he is generally in favor of allowing anyone who wants to serve their country in the military to do so.

“I don’t have any trouble with that [repealing ‘Don’t Ask, ‘Don’t Tell] assuming it is done in a way that is respectful of the people in the military who have great difficulty with it,” he said. “I don’t think there is any good answer to the question why shouldn’t gays and lesbians who want to serve their country be allowed to do it.”