John Bolton Kicks Off The 2016 Fox Primary Early

Prior to the 2012 election, Fox News was the target of widespread criticism for employing no fewer than five people who were considering seeking the Republican nomination for president. One of those five, Fox contributor John Bolton, is reportedly already getting the ball rolling on the 2016 edition of the Fox News primary.

In an article at National Review Online, Robert Costa explained that possible 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul's (R-KY) “views on foreign policy” are concerning “Republican hawks.” According to Costa, “several leading conservative power brokers” are turning to Bolton as a more aggressive foreign policy alternative to Paul and are urging the former U.S. ambassador to the UN to throw his hat in the ring for 2016.

Per Costa, the former Bush administration U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations is giving the idea “serious consideration.” He is reportedly planning tours of early primary states and meetings with party leaders in order to “make the case for a muscular foreign policy.” Bolton will also reportedly be launching “a few related groups that will help elevate his argument and his national profile.”

Any possible Bolton run will be also aided by his role at Fox, which has long served as a launching pad for various Republican candidates to explore campaigns for office. In 2010, former Fox contributor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum pointed to his job at Fox as having “been big” for helping “folks remember who I am ... It's a great platform, being able to talk about the current issues of the day.”

Bolton is a regular fixture on the network, where he is brought on to rail against the Obama administration's handling of foreign policy issues and call for the use of military force to respond to international problems. 

In 2010, while Bolton was making noise about possibly running for president in 2012, the network hosted him for 5 hours and 46 minutes of airtime, which Media Matters calculated was equivalent to more than $3.7 million in free advertising.  

In the three months prior to his September 2011 announcement on Fox that had decided against running, Bolton made more than 60 appearances on the network, totaling well over 4 hours of airtime.

The network has already shown it is eager to promote the 2016 presidential ambitions of its employees. After host Mike Huckabee was asked whether he was considering a presidential run during a Newsmax TV interview and responded that he was “not ruling it out,” Fox Nation highlighted the story under the headline, “Huckabee Hints At 2016 Run.”