The Shermanesque Pledge


By Chad Pergram, Fox News 

Many commentators today will declare that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) uttered a “Shermanesque” pledge to rebuke those who would court him for the Republican presidential nomination.

In his remarks, Ryan said “let me be clear: I do not want, nor will I accept the nomination for our party.”

The term “Shermanesque” is derived from American politics in the late 19th Century.

There was an effort to draft Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman to run for President in 1884. Sherman didn’t, famously snubbing his suitors by saying “I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.”

There is also some contention about the precise verbiage Sherman deployed. Sherman’s quote is sometimes cited as “I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.”

Hence the origin of a “Shermanesque pledge.”

Shortly after the Civil War, Sherman also indicated he had no interest in running for president. At that point, Sherman said “I hereby state, and mean all that I say, that I never have been and never will be a candidate for President; that if nominated by either party, I should peremptorily decline; and even if unanimously elected I should decline to to serve.”

President Lyndon Johnson bowed out of re-election in 1968, saying “I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president.”

Richard Nixon also had something of a “Shermanesque” statement in November, 1962. He lost the California gubernatorial contest to Gov. Pat Brown (D). Nixon famously said to the press “you don't have Nixon to kick around any more, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.”

But Nixon came back and won the GOP Presidential nomination and won the presidency in 1968.




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.

Fox News Reporting - Donald Trump – The Disrupter

Disrupt – “Interrupt (an event, activity, or process) by causing a disturbance or problem.”

When Donald Trump announced his candidacy last summer, the experts rolled their eyes. They’d heard it before and few took him seriously. But his blunt talk, and promise to “Make America Great Again,” struck a nerve.  He became the GOP frontrunner, with a base of voters whose belief in the man borders on fanaticism.

In Donald Trump – The Disrupter, we give you access inside this improbable presidential campaign – warts and all -- speaking to his family, friends and supporters, and going on the road with the candidate himself.  Trump has disrupted the pundits, the GOP, the presidential race and business-as-usual.  This assault on the political world has naturally created pushback, and the hour also investigates the resistance Trump has gotten from both right and left – and the damage he has done to himself.

Donald Trump – The Disrupter offers a fresh take on one of the most unlikely presidential campaigns ever.  America may never be the same.

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--

Computer Outages Continue for the DC Area's Largest Healthcare Provider

A spokeswoman with MedStar Health tells Fox News that the healthcare provider is still experiencing widespread computer outages but that progress is being made “by the hour.” MedStar Assistant VP Ann Nickels tells Fox that the hospital network has regained its ability to access patient records and other vital information largely in a “read only” capacity, she added that many doctors and nurses throughout MedStar are still unable to enter patient data and other medical information into the network’s computer systems.

Nickels would not elaborate on what specific type of attack the healthcare network was experiencing, only saying that MedStar’s IT professionals were working to rid the network of malicious computer software present on its system.

Fox News reported on Tuesday, citing a MedStar doctor, that the healthcare provider is wrestling with a “ransomware” attack and that hackers were holding MedStar’s computers hostage in exchange for payment in Bitcoin.

Nickels also confirmed to Fox that MedStar’s entire email system is still inoperable. Fox News learned this firsthand late Wednesday when an email to a MedStar employee bounced back as undeliverable (a screenshot of that mail is attached).

FBI confirmed earlier this week that it is investigating the cyberattack and “looking into the nature and scope of the matter,” according to a spokesperson with the agency.

MedStar’s latest statement on the incident was released Wednesday afternoon at 3pm:

3 p.m. MedStar Health Update Regarding Computer Downtime

Posted on March 30, 2016

Thanks to the diligent and tireless efforts of our MedStar leaders, IT systems team, clinicians, and associates-and above all else, the trust and support from our patients and community, MedStar is not only continuing to move toward full restoration of our major IT systems, but has maintained its promise to meet the care needs of the communities we serve. The malicious malware attack has created many inconveniences and operational challenges for our patients and associates. With only a few exceptions, we have continued to provide care approximating our normal volume levels.

Our focus throughout has been on providing high quality, safe patient care and meeting the needs of our communities. Since Monday morning, we have seen more than 6,000 patients in our hospitals and ambulatory centers. Specifically, we have:

Cared for an average of 3,380 patients a day in our 10 hospitals

Treated 2,400 patients in our emergency departments

Performed 782 surgeries

Welcomed 72 babies into the world

"Our remarkable team of physicians, nurses and associates have been dedicated to maintaining high quality care for all our patients despite the disruption caused by the malware attackers," said Stephen R.T. Evans, MD, chief medical officer of MedStar Health. "The disruption to our systems has not impacted our ability to provide quality care to our patients, and we regret any inconveniences to our patients and the extra challenges to our associates that the perpetrators of this attack have caused."

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?”

Brussels Airport Suicide Bombers Listed in U.S. Databases; Known to FBI

Two additional law enforcement sources confirm to Fox News that the two brothers named as suicide bombers in the Brussels airport attack were listed in U.S. intel databases and known to FBI.

One source explained to Fox that Belgian authorities shared intelligence on these individuals with their foreign counterparts. Fox is told that among the agencies listed under the “tear line” of an intelligence document on these individuals was FBI.

This source explains that intelligence on these individuals lived in U.S. databases for cross-referencing purposes – essentially so FBI and other U.S. agencies had awareness of the names if they were to come up over the course of another investigation.

Fox is told that post-9/11, this is a prime example of the kind of foreign intelligence sharing that we hear about.

Additionally, this source tells Fox that FBI’s participation in the investigation into the Brussels attacks amounts to a full court press right now. Director Comey noted today that there are no known connections between Monday’s attacks and threats to the U.S. homeland, but Fox is told that FBI assets overseas and agents across the country are working their sources hard to get any possible information on the perpetrators named in these attacks and any potential copycat plots that might be planned against the U.S. homeland. 



Coming Up

Up to two-dozen Gitmo detainees will be transferred this summer to a number of countries, citing long standing desire of Obama administration to transfer as many detainees as possible from the Guantanamo Bay prison.

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  • Charles Krauthammer @krauthammer

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