Former United Nations Ambassador and senior Mitt Romney campaign surrogate John Bolton ripped into President Barack Obama’s foreign policy at the National Museum for American Jewish History in Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Bolton told the auditorium, packed with approximately 200 attendees, that Obama has adopted a submissive “Mother, may I?” approach to diplomacy, in the vain hope that other nations will return the favor.
“The tragedy of the Arab Spring is, in part, our government didn’t understand what was at work there,” Bolton said. “And we saw the tragedy play out in the most tragic way in Benghazi.”
Attempts by the White House to deflect blame for the lack of security at the Benghazi embassy prior to the Sept. 11, 2012 murder of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens were irresponsible, Bolton said.
“When [Ronald Reagan appointee] Jim Baker or [George W. Bush appointee] Colin Powell was secretary of state, you don’t think they would pay attention to where their people were most at risk?”
While Bolton, now a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said it was possible the White House had deliberately hidden facts related to the attack to protect its image, he said it was more likely that the Obama administration is so misguided that it genuinely believed its narrative.
“Al-Qaida’s on the run,” Bolton said. “Running right into our consulates, apparently.”
Bolton also said Obama’s hot-mic promise to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev in March 2012 that he would have more flexibility to deal with Russian requests after the November election had provided moral support to America’s enemies.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen an American president negotiate not for his country, but for himself. When the Russians are blue in the Kremlin, when the Taliban are feeling down in their caves, they play that tape back.”