Rand Paul: "polls don't represent organizational strength"

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) told viewers on Special Report with Bret Baier that he will remain in the presidential race while running for re-election as senator despite his single digit showing in recent polls.

The Senator boasted his ground game in the first caucus state of Iowa, "I'm going to let people vote and I think the polls don't accurately represent our organizational strength in Iowa."

"We have chairmen in all 99 counties in Iowa, we have hundreds of precinct chairmen, we have thousand students rallying for us," Paul said.

He continued his appeal to young voters and millenials offering an alternative to establishment candidates from the republican and democratic parties, "I would hate to, you know,  give up and say the students aren't going to get a chance to vote for someone who truly thinks he shouldn't be putting everybody in jail for marijuana, that really we shouldn't be at war everywhere around the world all the time and that really there isn't another way, there isn't a third way." 

Donald Trump on Eminent Domain: I Think It's Wonderful

Businessman and presidential candidate Donald Trump sat down for an extended interview with Bret for Special Report. Here is the entire exchange on eminent domain--share your thoughts with us here or via Twitter @BretBaier.

Perry on Obama efforts to reestablish relations with Cuba: ‘This is just throwing the Castro brothers a lifeline’

Republican presidential candidate and former Texas governor Rick Perry (R) said Wednesday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that President Obama’s efforts to thaw the diplomatic freeze with Cuba are the wrong approach.

“We've seen this president not being able to connect the dots often. We see it in Iran. We see the same approach in Cuba, and how we're dealing with it,” Perry said. “The Cuban people are not any better off with this deal at all. In fact, I would suggest to you this is just throwing the Castro brothers a lifeline.”

If elected president, Perry said he’ll reverse steps the Obama administration is taking to formally reestablish diplomatic relations with the island nation,

“I think the next president of the United States obviously has an opportunity to come back in and using sanctions and other types of diplomatic ways to deal with the Castro regime,” he said, adding, “Until you see the people there getting the freedoms they deserve, I wouldn't try to normalize anything with them.”

Off the Vine: The Grapevine stories you missed!

Busy week in news as the 2016 lineup is filling up. Here are some of the stories that just missed out on being a part of the Grapevine.

By Phil Vogel, Special Report Producer

Feeling Low: Troop Morale is low -- really low. More than half of 770,000 soldiers are pessimistic about their future in the military and a similar number are unhappy in their jobs according findings obtained by USA TODAY. The physical health numbers were not pretty either -- only 14-percent say they are eating right and getting enough sleep. Since 2009, the Army has spends $287-million on a campaign to make troops more optimistic and resilient.  As part of the program, all soldiers -- including National Guard and reserves -- must fill out confidential questionnaires that measure resiliency. The army says the formulas used in the report are obsolete and will continue the positive psychological effort.

2016 Copy Editors Needed: Last week, we told you about Rand Paul's campaign website launching with "Education" misspelled (spelled it Eductation). This week, it was Hillary Clinton's turn for an embarrassing typo. The official press release announcement read, "Her work going door-to-door for the Children’s Defense Fund to her battling to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program, she’s fought children and families all her career." There is an important word missing there -- it was quickly fixed and the Presidential candidate got it right during her speaking engagements this week

Complexity Costs: Americans spend $32-billion to comply with the complicated tax system. And that is only the out-of-pocket cash - the National Taxpayers Union Foundation total the lost hours of productivity at 6.1 billion hours -- costing the economy $234 billion. 94% of returns were done with some kind of assistance -- I know mine was.

Old Habits Die Hard: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid must have been feeling nostalgic when he walked into the majority's weekly lunch on Tuesday. The problem is the Mansfield room is the lunching-domain of the Republicans now. The Nevada democrat quickly realized his mistake and exited through another door telling reporters, "wanted to check out the food."

Blast from the Past: Oddly enough, this week was not the first time a mailman has flown a small copter by the Capitol. On May 19, 1938, John Miller demonstrated the feasibility of a shuttle airmail service as part of National Airmail Week. Don't believe me? Here is the picture of proof from the Library of Congress.

2016 Contenders: Carly Fiorina

Bret sat down with former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and Republican nominee for US Senate from California in 2010 to talk about her potential run for President in 2016--here are a few of the questions and answers you didn't get to see on Special Report.

2016 Contenders: Senator Rick Santorum

A few of the questions and answers you didn't get to hear on the show--

Senator Richard Burr on deadly terror attack

Bret  sits down with incoming chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee-- North Carolina Senator Richard Burr about the deadly terror attack at Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France 

U.S. Capitol Receives A Makeover

For the first time in 50 years the United States Capitol dome is receiving a much needed makeover--at the cost of nearly $60 million of your taxpayer dollars. 
Visitors and residents of the nations capitol can now look up on any given day to find workers high above on more than 50 miles of scaffolding restoring the iconic landmark.
Predominantly made of cast iron, the U.S. Capitol dome is exposed to the elements which causes damage to the exterior. The more than 1,300 current cracks put the artwork in the rotunda at risk due to water leaks.
In addition to repairing the cracks, workers will remove layers of old paint, and repair the decorative ornaments that adorn the structure. The ongoing restoration ensures preservation for the next several decades. 
The dome as we know it today was built in the 1850's and 1860's. When the House and Senate extensions were added the original dome looked small compared to the size of the Capitol-- so a larger dome was added to fit with the grandness of the building.
One interesting fact--the original dome was made primarily of wood and canvas (quite the fire hazard) and the materials were used in the steam engine to erect the modern day dome.
So what does the work mean for tourists and capitol staff? The majority of the work is done at night and on weekends to ensure minimal disruption to Congress. Tours are still underway, but visitors will notice a donut like interior canopy around the Apotheosis of Washington fresco. The canopy will remain in place throughout the construction.
The Architect of the Capitol office says the project is on time- and on budget- and should be complete by the 2017 presidential inauguration.

Gov. Bobby Jindal: This president does not believe in American exceptionalism

A few of the questions and answers from Gov. Jindal that you didn't get to see in the piece that ran on Special Report--the biggest issue facing our country, the definition of marriage and his thoughts on discrimination, his faith, his experience in government, and foreign policy issues. 

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt

Four more states have joined the lawsuit against President Obama's moves to spare millions of illegal immigrants from deportation. Oklahoma is one of those four. Oklahoma's Attorney General Scott Pruitt tells Bret the president accomplished this without acutally signing an executive order and he is still breaking the law.



Coming Up

Don't miss New Jersey governor and presidential candidate Chris Christie tonight on Special Report.

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  • Charles Krauthammer @krauthammer

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