If you use John Bolton as a barometer for whether or not Republicans will be willing to cut defense spending to help reduce the deficit, then the answer is: No!
“Can American cut its defense spending in a meaningful way?” Fox Business asked Bolton.
“I don’t think so,” he said.
I think you’ve got to be just as much on the outlook for waste and fraud on defense spending as anywhere else, but the fact is we’re entering a very uncertain period in the world. We’ve got a lot of threats out there that we’re not prepared for. Not just nuclear proliferation, but chemical and biological weapons…. This is not the time to cut back. I understand there’s a lot of pressure to get deficits down. I’m all in favor of it. But national security comes first, pure and simple, as far as I’m concerned.
So there you have it. Here’s video of the exchange.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.