Congressman, you’ve got some explaining to do


Nov. 6, 2012: Mark Pocan, D-Wisc., alongside his husband, Philip Frank in Madison, Wisconsin. (Reuters)

**Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**

Buzz Cut:
• Congressman, you’ve got some explaining to do
• Team Jeb tries to reel in cash expectations
• Kasich taps McCain, Huntsman advisers
• How long can Hillary duck Iraq?
• Napoleon a Jersey Boy?

Did you hear the one about the Democratic congressman who compared Marco Rubio to Ricky Ricardo? Probably not, unless you were glued to The Weekly Standard’s blog. But that really happened. For any Millennials who are reading, Ricardo was the character played by Desi Arnaz on “I Love Lucy.” He was a broad, mostly unflattering ethnic stereotype – a hot-tempered Cuban bandleader who would become outraged at his wife’s zany antics. Arnaz was something of a sex symbol, but certainly played his ethnicity for laughs.

Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wisc., had nasty lines for nearly everyone in the GOP field, comparing Chris Christie to Jabba the Hutt, etc. Pocan at least knew enough to avoid Ben Carson. But let’s just flip this Rubio bit around and try it on for size. Imagine if a Republican congressman in 2007 had suggested then-Sen. Barack Obama should be played by J.J. “Kid Dy-no-mite” Evans from “Good Times.”

Rubio’s campaign is still swinging hard against the New York Times story exploring his topsy-turvy finances prior to his national rise, honing in on the paper’s miscasting as a luxury speedboat the $80,000 fishing boat Rubio bought. But here’s a more profound outrage on which to drum. Perhaps Ted Cruz can be brought in for a consultation.

For extra credit in your next class on “The Social Construction of Whiteness,” here’s a question to pose to your professor: Is the New York Times’ depiction of Rubio as an impulsive Cuban American the unwitting result of pervasive prejudice or a dog whistle? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Power Play: The Times-Rubio tussle – There are upsides and downsides for Marco Rubio in his battle with the NYT. What’s the best strategic move for Rubio? Chris Stirewalt scopes out the situation in 60 seconds. WATCH HERE.

“I don’t have a particular problem with this story, except the ‘Times’ may have poisoned the well a bit by saying that…Rubio had bought…what they called a luxury speedboat, which turns out to be a fishing boat.” – Senior Political Analyst Brit Hume on “The Kelly File”

Team Jeb tries to reel in cash expectations – WaPo: “A super PAC backing former Florida governor Jeb Bush is likely to fall short of collecting $100 million by the end of this month, despite widespread expectations that the group would hit that record-breaking sum, according to people close to the operation…That would be a major psychological blow for Bush’s operation, whose fundraising prowess has raised expectations about how much cash it has been amassing. Bush’s schedule for the past five months has been dominated by high-priced fundraisers for the super PAC, helping the group stockpile tens of millions.”

Walker touts education shakeup in Wisconsin amid tenure battle – Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wisc., has an op-ed in the Des Moines Register touting his advances in education reform. Battles over school choice, and alternatives to traditional, often failing, public schools brought Walker into the national spotlight 3 years ago. Now the battle continues back home as the state legislature argues over tenure in the Wisconsin university system.

Carly gets a hand from top pro-life leader – National Journal:Carly Fiorina, the only Republican woman running for president in 2016, has quietly been leveraging the support of Marjorie Dannenfelser, one of the most powerful women in conservative politics. Just don’t call it an ‘endorsement.’ Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a leading anti-abortion group, has played a critical role in Fiorina’s nascent 2016 run…[but] her grassroots-driven group might recoil from such a decision eight months before the first primary ballot is cast.”

[Fiorina continues her three day New Hampshire tour with events in Milford and Salem.]

Kasich taps McCain, Huntsman advisers – WaPo: “Kasich has picked John Weaver, a former top adviser in the presidential campaigns of Arizona Sen. John McCain, to fill the role of senior strategist. The Texas-based Weaver will oversee the general strategic direction of the Kasich campaign. Meanwhile, Fred Davis, a California-based ad maker, will assume the duties as lead media consultant for Kasich’s super PAC. He too worked for McCain’s 2008 campaign. Davis and Weaver both worked in behalf of former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr. in the 2012 campaign.”

Christie hoping to be 2016’s McCain – National Journal: “Like John McCain in 2008, the New Jersey governor is holding lengthy town halls, sounding an unmistakably aggressive note on fighting terror overseas, and bluntly calling for radical reforms to entitlements, the tax code, and education at home as he seeks to make a miraculous comeback from the political doldrums… In his revamped pitch as an underdog, [Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J.] focused much more on offering conservative policies for deep-seated challenges [in New Hampshire].”

[Christie is in Washington, where he’ll deliver the keynote speech at the Latino Coalition small business summit sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.]

Carson tells students to define themselves at high school named for him – Detroit News:Ben Carson, the retired pediatric neurosurgeon who wants to be president, offered this advice to the inaugural graduating class of his namesake high school: ‘Don’t let other people define you.’ Carson…was the commencement speaker Tuesday for Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine’s 2015 graduating class, held at the Detroit Opera House. Carson…said, ‘When I was the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins, everyone was saying it can’t be done — that they’d bleed to death. But it was a success. Think beyond what other people have done. You can learn from their triumphs and mistakes.’”

[Watch Fox: Presidential hopeful Ben Carson will be featured on the Contenders series on “Special Report with Bret Baier” tonight at 6 p.m. ET.]

Cruz courts Hispanic Dems for open Texas primary – Texas Tribune: “…U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz came to the Rio Grande Valley on Tuesday with a less familiar task: finding a receptive audience in one of the state’s few remaining Democratic bastions…”

There are great headlines, and then there is the best headline ever: “HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR.” Vincent Musetto of the (where else?) New York Post was the author of the paper’s April 13, 1983 main headline (known in the biz as “the wood”). How good was the wood? It has endured as the very best from a paper that can still impress with lines like “OBAMA BEATS WEINER.” Musetto died Tuesday at age 74, and the Post’s staid competitor, the NYT, gave him his due in a wonderful obituary. Said the Gray Lady: “But what endured in public memory far longer than the crime was the headline, with its verbless audacity, arresting parallel adjectives and forceful trochaic slams. (The corresponding headline in The New York Times that day proclaimed, genteelly, “Owner of a Bar Shot to Death; Suspect Is Held.” Headlessness was not mentioned until the third paragraph; toplessness not at all.).” R.I.P.

Got a TIP from the RIGHT or the LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM

Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval:
Approve – 44.9 percent//Disapprove – 50.0
Directions of Country: Right Direction – 29.0 percent//Wrong Track – 61.6 percent

Amid mounting pressure over his Iraq war strategy, President Obama seems to be preparing to escalate U.S. involvement with hundreds more troops. The president who campaigned on getting the U.S. out of Iraq is getting back in, bit by bit. So what does Hillary Clinton think? Don’t be silly. Clinton doesn’t answer questions. Neither will she be talking much about foreign policy in the vanilla Pudding Pop of a campaign re-launch she has planned for the rest of this month.

Clinton, who is raising money behind closed doors this week, is ducking two kinds of questions. The presumptive Democratic nominee’s inbox of unanswered scandal-related questions was already overflowing, but now the real-time policy points that any candidate would be expected to answer is off limits. Iraq and trade are front and center and there doesn’t seem to be a good way for her to tip-toe between distancing herself from Obama and allaying the concerns of an anxious Democratic left.

[In an op-ed for Time magazine, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called for increased an increased bombing campaign.]

Bernie gets feisty: ‘Hillary Clinton has had nothing to say’ – USA Today: “‘I have been … leading the opposition to TPP,’ the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal being negotiated, [Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.] said. ‘Hillary Clinton has had nothing to say. She hasn’t given us an opinion. And it’s hard for me to understand how Secretary Clinton or any candidate can avoid speaking out on what is a huge economic issue. You can be for it; you can be against it, but you’ve got to have an opinion.’ He went on: ‘I led the effort against the Keystone Pipeline. I don’t know that Secretary Clinton has spoken out on this issue. … I led the effort when I was in the House against the deregulation of Wall Street. … Where is Secretary Clinton on the issue of breaking up the large financial institutions?’”

What’s in there? – Bret Baier pressed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on transparency in the controversial trade authority bill, asking him why he wouldn’t release the text of the deal. “What Trade Promotion Authority is is a process to deal with it,” McConnell said, “The trade agreement will be completely transparent. We’ll have a chance to vote whether to approve it or not.” Watch the complete interview here.

Another hot potato for Hillary – The Obama EPA today will announce what the WSJ reports will be controversial new global warming regulations for aircraft, set to be the first of a series of carbon crackdowns rolling out this summer.

It’s summer on the Hill and time for the bosses to play ball. The American Enterprise Institute celebrates the annual Congressional Baseball Game on Thursday with a free beer on them before the first pitch. Permanent staff (sorry interns) and “interested” media can register here before 5 p.m. today for the chance to hang out at The Bullpen with what organizers say will be a bipartisan mix of members of Congress and the big brains from the think tank.

When Napoleon Bonaparte contemplated a safe haven from France after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, he decided the on United States. Where? The Garden State. NPR’s interview with Munro Price on his new book, “Napoleon: The End of Glory,” discusses this overlooked bit hypothetical history. Imagine the pocket-sized emperor passing his days near the Jersey Shore…And who knows what else might have happened if he got there? After all, New Jerseyans do like brash leaders. But, zut alors, the British blockade did not allow him to make the journey.

“I would recommend reverse profiling. Not to profile who is likely but profile people who you know are not. I would start with nuns in habits over 70 years old. The ones who are around 50, you can’t really trust. But over 70, I would start with. Families with small children. We can do that and eliminate the charade.” – Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier” Watch here.

Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as digital politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily “Fox News First” political news note and hosts “Power Play,” a feature video series, on Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on the network, including “The Kelly File,” “Special Report with Bret Baier,” and “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” He also provides expert political analysis for Fox News coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.