“This will be the first time in my adult political career when I won’t be voting for the Republican nominee for president,” former national security adviser John Bolton said Tuesday. “I won’t be voting for Joe Biden either.”
As several prominent Republicans endorsed Joe Biden over President Donald Trump on the first night of the Democratic National Convention, the president’s former national security adviser John Bolton said that while he won’t be voting for his old boss, he still won’t cast a ballot for the Democratic nominee.
“This will be the first time in my adult political career when I won’t be voting for the Republican nominee for president,” Bolton told the National Press Club on Tuesday. “I won’t be voting for Joe Biden either.”
Rather, Bolton plans to write in “a Republican conservative yet to be determined.”
“But, I’m very clearly of the view that Donald Trump’s not competent to be president,” Bolton said. “He’s not up to the job.”
Though Bolton said he was optimistic that the damage done “both domestically and internationally” during Trump’s four years in office can be repaired, he said he was “really very worried about what would happen to the country if he had a second term.”
“And so, from that perspective, Election Day this year is not going to be a happy day for me one way or the other. I’m going to be unhappy with the result,” he said.
Bolton had already indicated he did not intend to vote for Biden, but his unwillingness to move from that position comes as several Republicans endorsed Biden at the Democratic National Convention, including another former GOP national security adviser, Colin Powell. Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and former New York Rep. Susan Molinari also came out in favor of the former vice president. The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said it was “obviously a sensible strategy” for Republicans to cast their votes for Biden and that he “respects their choice to do it.”
He also said he understood those who plan to vote for Trump, many of whom he believes are “not voting for Trump because they favor him but because they’re afraid of what the left wing of the party would do in a Biden administration, as am I.”
Bolton, who runs two political action committees, said he was focused on the future of the Republican Party after the election, whether Trump wins or loses.
He stressed that it is “critical for Republicans to maintain control of the Senate.” Referring to Trump, he said it was important that the party bring everyone to the table, no matter whom they voted for, to discuss “what we do as a party to cut this albatross off from around our neck.”
Bolton savaged Trump in his book, “The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir.” He did not wait for the completion of security review before publication, and experts believe it is possible the courts will strip him of the book’s profits.
Bolton wrote that Trump used his position as president to boost his 2020 reelection chances, as was alleged by Democrats during Trump’s impeachment. Bolton’s decision not to voluntarily testify about those allegations during the impeachment proceedings drew the ire of Democrats who accused him of putting book sales over the good of the country. At the same time, many Republicans have turned on him for his public criticisms of the president.