On 14 April 2011, the Rafael del Pino Foundation, as part of its Master Lecture programme, welcomed John Bolton, who gave a lecture on "The Challenges to International Security Facing the West".
John Bolton explained his reasons for running for the Oval Office in his country at this time: "I am considering running for the US presidency because I believe it is important for the American people to take seriously the growing threats to the security of our country that are constantly emerging around the world. I do not believe that President Obama is paying adequate or sufficient attention to this issue; nor do we have a national debate about these threats, and I believe that the context provided by a presidential election is perfect for such a debate. That's why I'm considering my candidacy. I don't have a decision yet, but I will make one in the short term.
Regarding the situation in North Africa, John Bolton argued that the West's view should be pragmatic: "I don't think the West should do anything other than help those who really support democracy in Arab nations. Democracy must flourish not just as a consequence of people's decisions to exercise their right to vote and elect those they want to represent them. It is a culture, a set of institutions that must develop. And that is why it is important for the West to look at the true meaning of what has happened in North Africa. Democracy is more than holding elections and counting votes. It is something far more complex than the simplified view that we in the West have of events in North Africa. The deep development of those ideals is, in the long run, what we should expect.