John Bolton goes after NH Dem

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton is launching his super-PAC's first independent expenditure of the cycle in New Hampshire, a state possibly key to his political future as he weighs a potential run for president.

The group picked Rep. Ann Kuster (D-N.H.) as its first target, and will launch a Web ad Thursday morning that calls Kuster "clueless" about the attacks on Benghazi. The video, obtained first by The Hill, features a clip of her fumbling a question on the issue at a constituent town hall.

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The gaffe occurred in November of last year when Kuster was asked for her opinion on a House resolution that would set up a committee to investigate the attacks. Kuster responded that she didn't "think we have anything about that in the House" and continued by saying the town hall was meant to "talk about the Middle East."

Her statement was followed by several audience members exclaiming, "Benghazi is in the Middle East!" After highlighting the clip, Bolton's negative spot blasts Kuster as "lost on the job."

But Bolton himself is the focus of the latter half of the minute-long Web ad. He speaks direct-to-camera about the importance of national security, telling viewers that Kuster "should have known better." 

"If I learned one thing as our ambassador to the United Nations, it's that we can't be a great country by ignoring our national security," Bolton says in the ad. "Protecting our individual freedoms at home requires protecting our interests around the world."

Bolton has waded into the midterm elections this cycle in an effort to boost his profile and shine a spotlight on national security issues. While this online-only ad is the first of the John Bolton Super PAC, his political action committee has already lent a hand to a number of candidates in competitive Senate races, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst (R).  

Combined, the former ambassador's two groups raised more than $2.3 million in the second quarter, bringing the total to $4 million for the cycle overall with almost $3 million in the bank. The buy for the super-PAC's New Hampshire ad is for an initial $30,000, and the spot will run online throughout the state for at least two weeks. 

Kuster is a top GOP target for the cycle, and a handful of Republicans are vying for a chance to take her on this fall. Bolton hasn't yet endorsed any of the challengers, who will face a Sept. 9 primary.