John Bolton endorses Mitt Romney for president

Former Ambassador John Bolton speaks at the Conservative Principles Conference hosted by U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, March 26, 2011, in Des Moines, Iowa.
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, endorsed Mitt Romney's bid to be the Republican nominee for president.

"Of all the candidates, Mitt Romney possesses the strongest vision for America's leadership role in the world, and I am proud to endorse him," Bolton said in a statement released Thursday by the Romney campaign. "President Obama has sapped America's credibility abroad, weakened our military and failed to lead on issues vital to U.S. national security... Mitt Romney will restore our military, repair relations with our closest allies, and ensure that no adversary--including Iran--ever questions American resolve."

Bolton, who was highly controversial during his 16-month tenure as U.N. ambassador, once hinted at his own 2012 presidential bid. On Fox News Wednesday, where Bolton is a contributor, the former official said in reference to himself, "Looking at the whole range of prospective candidates, there was only one candidate who met my test as the ideal conservative, but he decided not to run."

In his own statement, Romney called Bolton a "staunch defender of U.S. interests and values" and said he looks forward to consulting with him on ways to restore America's standing abroad.

After Bolton was given a recess appointment to serve as U.N. ambassador in 2005, he aggressively pursued President Bush's foreign policy agenda and called for an overhaul of the U.N. while antagonizing many members of the international body. After his temporary appointment expired, Democrats blocked his nomination to continue serving in 2006.


Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App