John Bolton endorses Ann Wagner in RNC chairman race

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton — who says he’s considering a run for president in 2012 as a Republican — is backing Ann Wagner for chairman of the Republican National Committee.

“Ann Wagner is a tough, no-nonsense conservative leader with the highest integrity, and has a long track record of raising money and winning elections,” Bolton said in a statement. “She’s also a terrific communicator who understands the role of chairman is to get the fundamentals right, but has the skills and gravitas to go head to head with Tim Kaine and the Democrats when needed.”

He continued: “Ann Wagner is exactly what our National Republican Party needs to win in 2012.”

Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and FOX News contributor, first said in an interview with The Daily Caller that he is considering running for president. An endorsement in the RNC race is notable because it shows Bolton, a foreign policy expert, is paying attention to party politics.

The chairman of the RNC is supposed to be neutral and serve as a referee during the party’s presidential nominating process.

Wagner is a former Missouri committeewoman and ambassador to Luxembourg during the George W. Bush administration. Bolton was appointed to the U.N. position by Bush.

Others running for RNC chairman include current chairman Michael Steele, former Michigan GOP chairman Saul Anuzis, former Bush administration official Maria Cino, Wisconsin GOP chairman Reince Priebus and former RNC political director Gentry Collins.

TheDC in January is co-hosting a debate with Americans for Tax Reform for chairman candidates.