John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, announced Thursday that he will not for president.
Bolton, a Republican, said in a video that he will try instead to influence the 2016 presidential race from the sidelines.
“I have decided not to seek the Republican nomination for president,” Bolton said. “I believe I can make the strongest contribution to our future by continuing as a clear and consistent advocate for a strong, Reaganite foreign policy that values peace through strength.”
Bolton, who served during President George W. Bush’s term, had spent the last few months in early nominating states. He had been expected to announce his candidacy as a longshot in a crowded field.
So far, five Republicans have announced they are running: Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and former business executive Carly Fiorina and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
“While I am not a candidate, I am certainly not going to sit this election out,” Bolton said. He said he will continue “to focus on the 2016 Republican presidential race to make certain that foreign policy is critical to winning the nomination.”