Bolton: Biden’s speech to UN General Assembly an ‘opportunity’ squandered

U.S.

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — President Joe Biden summoned the world’s nations to forcefully address the festering global issues of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and human rights abuses in his first address before the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday. He decried military conflict and insisted the U.S. is not seeking “a new Cold War” with China.

For former National Security Adviser John Bolton, however, the speech was “unremarkable.”

Speaking with Leland Vitter on “On Balance,” Bolton said he believed the appearance before the General Assembly was “a huge opportunity for Biden to address the world.”

That chance, the onetime member of the Trump and George W. Bush administrations said, was squandered.

“Some presidents have looked at this as the chance to give a State of the World speech,” Bolton said, “and he gave 20 or 30 minutes of cliches.”

In his speech, Biden put a heavy emphasis on the need for world leaders to work together on the COVID-19 pandemic, to meet past obligations to address climate change, to head off emerging technology issues and to firm up trade rules.

“We will choose to build a better future. We, you and I, we have the will and capacity to make it better. Ladies and gentlemen, we cannot afford to waste any more time,” he said. “We can do this.”

“In a way, it was a domestic speech,” Bolton told Vittert. “He knows COVID is on the minds of Americans, understandably, and he knows many people are concerned about climate change. But in terms of addressing international problems, other than a passing reference to Afghanistan, a passing reference to nuclear proliferation, passing references to China’s abuses, and Russia’s, really, a lot of these problems went by the boards.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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