Krauthammer: Cruz “extremely defensive” on New York support

Charles Krauthammer told viewers Thursday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that Cruz is “really extremely defensive” when it comes to his support in New York.

“He doesn’t even have a chance to talk about his issues in New York,” Krauthammer added. “He’s got to defend the New York values stuff, which was an enormous mistake. It didn’t really help him in Iowa. He could’ve done it without that phrase. And now how does he defend it? He can’t. And I think because he is talking only about that, I think his numbers are going to stay very low here.”

His comments come as the battleground for the 2016 presidential nomination has shifted to New York, Donald Trump’s home state. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has said that he supports Trump.

A new poll shows Trump leading the pack in the empire state with more than fifty percent of the vote. Kasich is running second with Cruz in third and both campaigned there Thursday.

Rising Threats: Shrinking Military

There is a growing sense the US military has signifcantly changed -- and not for the better -- during President Obama's seven years in office. We have received an overwhelming response to our Fox News Reporting hour 'Rising Threats: Shrinking Military' that ran last weekend. We thought we would go back in and look at some of the interviews to air some of what did not make it into the hour.  I talked with three of President Obam's four Defense Secretaries--

Hurt on Trump’s gaffe: “He has to stop stepping in it with things like this.”

Political Columnist for the Washington Times, Charles Hurt,  said Wednesday on Special Report that Donald Trump, “has to stop stepping in it with things like this.”

Hurt was referring to Trump’s comments to Chris Matthews of MSNBC that women who have abortions should be punished.

“Trying to wing it and not thinking through things, and talking through things,” continued Hurt, “Especially something that is as important to the Republican base as the issue of abortion.”

Trump later walked his comments back, and Hurt admits that may be enough for Trump in this topsy-turvy election year. “I think one of the things that's so puzzling to us about why he does not get punished for making these statements is, that a lot of people hear it and they feel like, yeah he's working thru the problem in front of us, but they think he's talking plainly, because he doesn't have the political pat answer for everything they give him a lot of forgiveness.”

Charles Lane on Trump and Michelle Fields: ‘He’s displacing the blame onto her’

Fox News contributor Charles Lane said Tuesday on "Special Report with Bret Baier" that while Republican front runner Donald Trump’s campaign manager has been charged by police with the battery of journalist Michelle Fields, the news likely won’t affect the candidate’s standing with his supporters.

“It is surreal, it truly is, but… almost every other, ostensibly negative thing has somehow worked in Trump's favor,” Lane said. “So I wouldn't be surprised if this proves to be another one.”

In fact, Lane believes Trump may have said just the right things to appease his base.

“In any situation, his instinct is sort of to make a counteraccusation, right? To admit nothing, deny everything, and say, no, wait a minute, they started it. And that's what he did here. He said, no, she grabbed me,” Lane said, adding, “He’s displacing the blame onto her, and I think with a lot of his fans, that will be enough

Riley: Wisconsin “very big deal” for potential Trump nomination

Jason Riley of the Wall Street Journal told viewers Monday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that “Wisconsin is a very big deal” for businessman Donald Trump in his quest for the Republican nomination for president.

“If Trump does well there, it could mean no contested convention. He could win on the first ballot in Cleveland,” Riley said.

He noted that aspects of Wisconsin will play to Trump’s strengths, like the state’s many blue collar voters and lack of Evangelicals.

Former candidate and current Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is expected to endorse a candidate in his state as soon as tomorrow and has hinted in interviews that he will support Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

That and a lack of talk radio support in Wisconsin are among the reasons that Trump is fighting to win there with measures including holding campaign events.

“He’s in for a fight and that’s why I think he has decided to go and campaign,” Riley theorized. “How novel is that, in the state?”

FBI Sends "Fly Team" From NY Field Office & Evidence Techs to Assist Belgians in Brussels Investigation

A law enforcement source tells Fox News that the FBI has sent a fly team from its New York Field Office to assist Belgian authorities in their investigation of the terror attacks in Brussels yesterday. Fox is told this team consists of agents who will be on the ground conducting interviews to gain any and all intelligence they can on the incidents.

Additionally, Fox is told that an FBI Evidence Response Team (ERT) from the FBI Lab in Quantico, VA has deployed to Brussels as well. FBI ERTs are generally looked upon as some of the best forensics teams in the world.

FBI’s Legal Attache (LEGAT) office in Brussels has been working with Belgian authorities since the attacks took place yesterday. Fox is told that part of that work includes facilitating intelligence sharing between Belgian authorities and U.S. intelligence databases.

Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates told reporters at a press conference this afternoon that the Justice Department has been in touch with its Belgian counterparts and stands ready to offer any and all assistance it can. 

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.



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