July 30. 2013 5:10PM

Former ambassador John Bolton to visit NH in September

Senior Political Reporter

John Bolton, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations during the George W. Bush administration and a potential 2016 presidential candidate, has scheduled a visit to New Hampshire in September.

UnionLeader.com has learned that Bolton has accepted an invitation by former state Republican Party Chairman Fergus Cullen.

Cullen said he and his wife will host a "traditional house party" featuring Bolton at his Dover home on the evening of Sept. 27.

Bolton will also be the keynote speaker at the Hillsborough County Republican Committee picnic on Sept. 28, state GOP chair Jennifer Horn said, and is slated to appear at a private fund-raiser for the state Republican Party at the home of Republican National Committeewoman Juliana Bergeron in Keene, also on Sept. 28.

Bolton has been eyeing the possibility of running for President, and according to a report last month in the National Review, "Later this year and throughout 2014, the former Reagan and Bush official will begin an informal national tour. He'll give speeches, huddle with GOP leaders, and push back against the party's libertarian shift. He'll make the case for a muscular foreign policy."

Cullen recalled that Bolton spoke at a party event when he was state chairman in 2007.

"Now, at a time when the conservative movement is having a debate about the proper role regarding foreign policy, neo-isolationists have been gaining strength in recent years," Cullen said. "Ambassador Bolton presents a different view, and I think that's a viewpoint that deserves discussion and a wide audience."

Cullen said, "I feel strongly that part of what makes the New Hampshire Primary work is that lesser-known candidates have an opportunity to have their messages heard."

He said he and his wife intend to "open our doors" to other potential 2016 presidential candidates, as they did prior to the 2012 first-in-the-nation primary.

Horn said Bolton is "well-known here, and he is an articulate voice for a strong national security strategy, which is an important foundation for our party platform."