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Obama Statement on the Recess Appointment of John R. Bolton as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.

Monday, August 1, 2005

Washington Contact: Robert Gibbs or Tommy Vietor, (202) 228-5511
Illinois Contact: Julian Green, (312) 886-3506
Date: August 1, 2005

Obama Statement on the Recess Appointment of John R. Bolton as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) today issued the following statement about the recess appointment of John R. Bolton to be permanent U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations:

"At a time when we are facing some of the gravest threats to our security we've ever known, we need a credible, effective messenger at the United Nations who will be able to advance the security and safety of the United States.

"But after meeting with Mr. Bolton, reading his writings, and listening to hours of testimony, my doubts about his ability to protect and advance U.S. national security interests at the U.N. are simply too strong to support his nomination.

"John Bolton is the wrong person for the job and the decision to appoint him today will not serve American foreign policy well at all.

"These doubts come from the credible allegations that Mr. Bolton sought to shade intelligence and sideline career intelligence analysts who didn't agree with his policy views. His history of inflammatory statements about the U.N. will also make it difficult for him to effectively advance U.S. security interests in New York and bring about necessary reforms to that institution. Finally, respected foreign policy officials who have worked with Mr. Bolton claim that he bullies, marginalizes, and undermines those who do not agree with him - this from someone who is to become our chief diplomat at a place where nations come together to resolve disagreements.

"We need a representative at the U.N. who will be able to command the respect of the world and engage in the diplomacy necessary to isolate our enemies and build a coalition that will ultimately make our troops safer and our mission easier. Mr. Bolton's record and his statements leave me with serious doubts that he could be this representative."