John Bolton on Glenn Beck's "caliphate" theory

The prospective White House candidate talks with Salon during CPAC's foreign policy day


Justin Elliott
February 13, 2011 1:47AM (UTC)

Today is shaping up as foreign policy day at CPAC. A sampler of the views aired so far:

  • John Bolton spoke and warned of the threat of an administration that (allegedly) apologizes for America.
  • Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) warned that Hugo Chavez wants to obtain nuclear weapons. Mack, who devoted almost his entire speech to Chavez, wants the United States to stop buying Venezuelan oil and institute a trade embargo. Venezuelan oil, it's worth noting, makes up more than 10 percent of U.S. crude oil imports.
  • In a panel on "The New Nuclear Threat: China and North Korea" conservative activist hero Phyllis Schlafly warned: "We better start worrying about an attack from North Korea, China, or Iran." During that same panel, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) called China "the worst potential enemy we have in this world." "We need an alliance against China, and that alliance needs to include Russia and India," he said.

After Bolton's speech, he came to the press room to take questions and talk about 2012. He said he's actively considering a presidential candidacy, but he has to worry about earning a daily income and he's never run for public office before. He thinks he can enter the field as late as the end of this year.

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I asked Bolton what he thought of Glenn Beck's theory that the Egyptian protests mark the beginning of a worldwide Islamic caliphate. "I haven't seen the programs that Glenn has broadcast on this, so I don't want to comment on something that I haven't seen in its fullest extent," he said. "But there are leaders in that part of the world -- like Osama bin Laden -- who talk about the restoration of the caliphate. I am very disturbed by that."

Watch the video:


Justin Elliott

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

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