McCain Wants Bolton Confirmed Quickly

The Associated Press
Sunday, September 24, 2006; 12:36 PM

WASHINGTON -- Sen. John McCain on Sunday urged quick confirmation for John Bolton as U.N. ambassador, saying the nominee is needed to talk back to "two-bit dictators" such as Venezuela's president.

McCain, R-Ariz., joined lawmakers from both parties in condemning Hugo Chavez's speech last week at the United Nations in which the Venezuelan called President Bush "the devil."

"I would say that this is an argument to get John Bolton confirmed as our U.N. ambassador," McCain said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "He's smart, he's tough, he will respond to these guys. And he could talk back to these two-bit dictators who have the airfare to New York."

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee this month was expected to approve along party lines Bolton, whom Bush appointed temporarily to the post last year over opposition by Democrats and a few Republicans.

But the vote was postponed after Sen. Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I., who faced a tough primary contest against a conservative Republican, said he had more questions. Chafee won that election.

McCain urged Democrats to support Bolton's nomination and branded Chavez "despicable."

"He aspires to be this generation's (Fidel) Castro. I think the people of Venezuela ought to look at the standard of living in Cuba before they would embrace such a thing," McCain said.

© 2006 The Associated Press