Krauthammer on Paul Ryan’s vision for Republicans: Rebuilding the party ‘after the rubble of this election cycle’

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said Tuesday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that while House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) garnered attention for his forceful announcement he will not be a contender for president this election cycle, the Speaker had a lesser publicized message for the American people that was nonetheless significant.

“The part of the speech I found the most interesting was when he talked about what he’s going to be doing in Congress. And that was kind of ignored,” Krauthammer said. “I think what he was doing, in addition to pulling out of the race, was to announce the  first step in the rebuilding of the party after the rubble of this election cycle.”

Krauthammer said that Ryan was offering a path forward -- one that he believes can unite Republicans after a contentious presidential contest

“The party will be irredeemably split, and what he was saying is… I will lead with a policy agenda to reconstruct the Reaganite ideas that have been utterly level in this cycle,” he said, adding, “I don’t think it’s with an eye to the presidency. He’s young, he can run anytime in the next 20 years. It’s an eye to holding the party together.”

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.

Cantonese: Clinton cannot lose in NY

David Catanese, Senior Politics Writer for U-S News and World Report, told viewers on "Special Report" with Bret Baier that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is exhibiting concern with the upcoming primary in her adoptive state, "This is gonna be a brutal two weeks because Hillary Clinton cannot lose New York. There is no way she can lose New York."

Her rival Sen Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is on a roll after his double digit victory last night in Wisconsin, 57% to 43%, and clenching the last six of seven presidential contests.

"She's sharpening line of attacks. So she's going to go at him with everything. I think it's gonna be a tough, tough run for the Sanders campaign," Cantonese said.

On the campaign trail, Sanders insists that his campaign has the momentum evidenced by his ability to draw the largest crowds of any candidate this year; 10,000 in Madison, WI in recent days and 18,000 in Colorado just weeks ago. 

"I think the Clinton campaign is worried that he could creep up on her. I mean he's gonna draw some huge rallies in that state, there are a lot of liberals in New York  we know of," Cantonese said. 

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?”

Chairman McCaul: Investigations into ISIS in a all 50 states

Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Congressman Michael McCaul joined Bret Baier on Special Report to talk about the global threat of ISIS, including in the United States.

Krauthammer on Obama’s Cuba visit: ‘He does this sort of ideological holiday trip in Cuba while the world burns’

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said Tuesday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that, at a news conference in Cuba, President Obama devoted almost no time to addressing the terror attacks that transpired in Belgium – and instead focused on a trip that matters very little by comparison.

“Obama gave the terror bombing 51 seconds of his speech today in Havana. I thought the whole story of his presidency and its foreign policy was seen in the split screen,” Krauthammer said. “On one side, you had the video footage of the attack in Belgium. This is the real world. And on the other side was Obama, in the fantasy world he inhabits, where Cuba is of some geopolitical significance in his mind.”

Krauthammer argued that Obama made the trip to knock a legacy item off his list before he leaves office, settling the Cold War arguments of the academic left. Yet if the country fell off the map, Krauthammer said it would make little difference in the foreign policy arena.

“If Cuba disappeared tomorrow in a volcanic eruption like Santorini, nobody would notice geopolitically,” he said.

On the other hand, he reiterated the events in Brussels pose a grave threat.

“The Belgians are completely outmanned, the Europeans have no way of tracking, and… we are completely in the blind. We don't know what we don't know,” Krauthammer said, adding, “Obama calls it the jayvee team. He pretends it's contained and controlled. It is not. Instead, he does this sort of ideological holiday trip in Cuba while the world burns.”

Krauthammer: Obama’s nomination of Garland all about politics

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said Friday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that President Obama’s nomination of Garland to the Supreme Court was all about politics and has nothing to do with competence.

“Ever since the supreme court became a super legislature with the abolition, the striking down of all the abortion rights until 40 years later striking down all the laws on gay marriage it has been a political appointment.

Krauthammer added “The idea that the president said today this isn't about ideology it's about competence is nonesense. All that was destroyed with the Bork nomination. The most highly competent, qualified nominee probably ever, struck down entirely on ideology and  when Obama was in the senate he filibustered Alito, who he admitted had all the qualifications.”

Although Garland has an impressive resume including first in his class at Harvard and nearly two years on the federal bench Krauthammer contends Senate Republicans are taking the correct path.

“It is about ideology, it's about power. The Republicans have the power to say no. They should say no.”




Coming Up

President Obama called on nations to "escape the logic of fear" and reduce their stockpiles of nuclear weapons as he became the first sitting U.S. President to visit Hiroshima, Japan Friday.

All-Star Panel

  • Nina Easton @NinaEaston
  • Jeffrey Goldberg @JeffreyGoldberg
  • Charles Krauthammer @krauthammer

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