John Bolton, the incendiary former U.N. ambassador, shared his scathing criticism of the president’s work on the foreign affairs front at a meeting of the Federalist Society in Miami.
“I just don’t think that he cares that much about foreign policy and national security. It’s not what gets him up in the morning,” Bolton said Tuesday.
The former Bush administration official once labeled by “The Economist” as “the most controversial representative ever sent” to the U.N. by the U.S. worries about the country’s involvement in Arab nations experiencing political uprisings.
He called U.S. support of Egyptian pro-democracy protesters “throwing [President Hosni] Mumbarak under the bus.”
Bolton also decried U.S. involvement in Libya’s no-fly zone, calling it an “unfocused, poorly directed” effort that could leave the African country in a chaotic, Somalia-like state.
Bolton said the U.S. should have not waited for Security Council action and should have acted alone to support rebel opposition to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
Bolton criticized what he sees as divergent U.S. objectives — the president’s statement Monday that “Gadhafi needs to go,” a promise to protect Libyans and his pledge that no U.S. troops will be used on Libyan soil.
Bolton asked how Gadhafi could be taken from power without using U.S. troops.
The U.S. response to political turmoil sweeping the Mideast indicates the president’s failure to pay enough attention to foreign issues, Bolton said.