(CNSNews.com) - Supporters of John Bolton are furious with Sen. George Voinovich, an Ohio Republican who joined Democrats Tuesday in expressing concern about Bolton's dealings with co-workers and underlings.
With Voinovich refusing to back Bolton for the time being, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee postponed a vote that would have sent Bolton's nomination to the full Senate for anticipated confirmation.
President Bush has nominated Bolton to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Voinovich did not attend Bolton's confirmation hearings last week, and on Tuesday, he said he didn't feel "comfortable" voting on the nomination at this time. "I think one's interpersonal skills and their relationship with their fellow man is a very important ingredient in anyone that works," Voinovich said.
Fellow Republican Senators Lincoln Chafee (R.I.) and Chuck Hagel (Neb.) also said they would rather not have the committee vote on Tuesday. Chafee was quoted as saying the "dynamic" had changed because of new "reservations" surfacing about Bolton.
But Bolton's defenders say people who once worked with Bolton are coming out of the woodwork to describe him as personally abusive in his professional relationships. The White House is standing by Bolton, calling the latest round of allegations "unfounded."
"John Bolton is exactly the person we need at the United Nations at this time," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said on Tuesday, after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee postponed its planned vote.
Move America Forward, a group that opposes the United Nations but backs Bolton, expressed outrage that a Republican Senator would refuse to back President Bush's nominee.
"Shame on Senator Voinovich," said Melanie Morgan, co-chair of Move America Forward.
"Senator Voinovich indicated he was absent from the Bolton confirmation hearings, which explains his ignorance of Mr. Bolton's qualifications to serve as a voice for America's interests at the United Nations," Morgan said.
Move America Forward said it will run radio ads criticizing Voinovich for his "obstructionist conduct" regarding Bolton.
"He has now empowered Democrat opponents of Bolton to conduct a fishing expedition to dig up every unsubstantiated charge against him as they frantically work to embarrass President Bush by once again smearing another one of his nominees," Morgan said.
Move America Forward has already aired television commercials supporting Bolton's nomination on national television networks.
"We are going to put our resources into putting the heat on Senator Voinovich until he sees the light. Standing up for American interests at the U.N. is urgent, and further delays only aid those who merrily wear the 'Blame America First' label," said Morgan.
In addition to the ad campaign, Move America Forward has also put out an alert for its members to contact Senator Voinovich's office to "register their outrage" over his actions."
"Shame on Senator Voinovich," the ad says. "After the Democrats smeared Condoleezza Rice for Secretary of State and Alberto Gonzales for Attorney General, how could Voinovich side with the Democrats in smearing John Bolton?" It suggests that Voinovich has "become a traitor to the Republican Party."
The Freedom Alliance, another Bolton defender, blasted "Democrats and weak-kneed Republicans" for letting the corruption at the United Nations continue unabated.
President Tom Kilgannon today released the following statement regarding the delay of President Bush's nominee, John Bolton, to be UN Ambassador to the United Nations by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
"John Bolton is a nominee who is going to bring reform to the United Nations and is someone who can help clean it up," said Freedom Alliance President Tom Kilgannon.
"By stalling on the Bolton nomination, they are allowing the international juvenile delinquents to continue to run wild without adult supervision at the expense of American taxpayers." Kilgannon said Bolton is the one man who could actually change things for the better at the U.N.
The Freedom Alliance, founded by Lt.-Col. Oliver North (Ret.), describes its mission as promoting freedom and defending the sovereignty of the United States.
On the other side of the coin, a group that lobbied against Bolton's nomination expressed relief that the Foreign Relations Committee has heard its concerns about Bolton.
Citizens for Global Solutions says those concerns include Bolton's "lack of credibility to represent America at the United Nations; his inability to work with others; his management style and lack of respect for his superiors; and his disdain for diplomacy and contempt for international law, which will hinder his ability to represent U.S. interests at the U.N."
Don Kraus, executive vice president of Citizens for Global Solutions, thanked the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for putting principle overcame partisanship: "We applaud the committee's diligence, their understanding of the vital need for effective U.N. reform, and for the committee's continued concerns about Mr. Bolton's ability to get the job done."
Citizens for Global Solutions, which launched a "stop John Bolton" website, insists that America's interests will be better served by a "responsible, credible U.N. ambassador -- someone other than Mr. Bolton," in other words.
Bolton has been very critical of the U.N., which pleases many conservatives and upsets many globalists.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has not said whether it will hear additional testimony on Bolton, nor has it set another date for a vote on his nomination.
See Earlier Stories:
GOP Senator's Comments Add Suspense to Bolton Vote (April 19, 2005)
Key Senator Now 'Inclined to Support' Bolton Nomination (April 7, 2005)
Bolton Nomination Fight Expected to Get Ugly (March 21, 2005)
Bush Nominates 'Tough-Minded' Bolton as Ambassador to UN (March 7, 2005)
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