Four Highlights From Donald Trump's Fox News Town Hall in Wisconsin

Donald Trump waves to supporters at a campaign rally in West Allis, Wisconsin, on April 3. Later in the day, he sat down with Fox News's Greta Van Susteren for a town hall in Milwaukee. Jim Young/Reuters

Donald Trump joined Fox News for a town hall Sunday night in Milwaukee, two days before the state's stand-alone presidential primary. The real estate tycoon is hoping to regain momentum in the Badger State, where some polls show he trails his closest Republican presidential competitor, Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Here are four highlights from Fox's On the Record forum:

1. NATO is "obsolete"

Prior to Sunday, Trump had accused U.S. allies of not pulling their weight in NATO, saying they're "not paying their fair share." He called the 28-nation military alliance "obsolete."

At the town hall, he said the United States should "make better deals" with allies:

Greta Van Susteren, host: And we're back in Milwaukee with our special On the Record 2016 town hall with GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. Donald Trump is hoping for another big day this coming Tuesday. Of course, that's the day that the voters in the great state of Wisconsin will hit the polls.

Donald, I want to ask you about North Korea and nuclear weapons. And I heard you the other day say that you would not—when asked about South Korea and Japan having the possibility of nuclear weapons as a deterrent to North Korea, I wonder if that might not spark a large nuclear arms race, No. 1. And No. 2, do you worry that the odds of a terrorist group then getting access to nuclear arms is greatly enhanced unless we prevent South Korea and Japan from getting nuclear weapons.

Trump: Well, I worry about that anyway. And the best thing you can do is knock the hell out of ISIS really fast and really furious, and get rid of it, because this is a threat. Can you imagine our great generals like General George Patton and General MacArthur not being able to handle ISIS? I mean, this is—the whole thing is ridiculous.

So we've got to knock out ISIS. We're going to make our military bigger, better, stronger than ever before. It's the cheapest thing we can do. And nobody is going to mess with us. But let me tell you, Greta, I was—you know, they take little segments. I gave an answer to a show. And it was—they were talking about NATO. I gave a great answer, it turned out to be a great answer.

You know, for two days I took it, and then all of a sudden all of the great analysts said, you know, Trump is right about that. I said it's obsolete, and I said it's too expensive for the United States.

Van Susteren: So nuclear weapons in Japan and South Korea or not?

Trump: No—but this whole thing. I said, it's obsolete. And all of a sudden the experts say, you know, we never thought of it that way, because it's not really focused on terrorism, which is a big problem that we have now. We have to go to Japan and to Germany and to South Korea and to Saudi Arabia where they have money like nobody has ever seen money before. We defend all of these countries. We're not properly reimbursed for the kind of money that we're spending. We're spending so much money. We're defending the world. We're like the policeman to the world. We're defending Japan, as an example. And I said, and I said it very strongly…

Van Susteren: And they pay 2 billion for it a year.

Trump: Yes, but that's peanuts compared to what we're doing. You know, it's wonderful they're paying 2 billion, but what difference does that make? It's peanuts compared to what they're doing. So I said, I used Japan as an example. They're sending us cars by the millions. They're making a fortune off us. I mean, like everybody else. Who doesn't? Everybody makes a fortune because we have the worst trade deals ever negotiated ever in the world, OK? So we go to Japan. We go to the others also. But we go to Japan and say, Listen, you've got to pay more, we want to defend you. I don't really want them to have nukes. I don't want them to defend themselves.

But look, at some point we can't continue to do this. We can't continue. We have 19 trillion in debt. Because of the horrible omnibus budget that was just approved, it's going to be 21 trillion very soon. We go to Japan. We go to these countries. And we make better deals. But you have to be prepared to walk. It's possible they'll have to defend themselves. But we cannot spend billions and billions and billions of dollars on defending all of these countries that have plenty of money to defend themselves. They view us as…

Van Susteren: All right. Well, let's get…

Trump: …people that are not very smart. No, but they never put that in. They always say, Trump wants Japan to, you know, go nuclear. I don't. I really don't. But listen, when you have North Korea and you have Japan, and they're very close to each other—and, frankly, we're sort of semi-involved, we don't want to be involved—at some point it could happen anyway. But I want them to pay. And this is true for all countries. Saudi Arabia was making a billion dollars a day, a billion dollars a day, now they make a little bit less because the oil prices are down. Don't worry about them, they have more money than—I mean, you've never seen money like this. If something goes wrong, we're defending Saudi Arabia. I want to be reimbursed. I'm going to Saudi Arabia, I want to be reimbursed. Nobody in the media ever says that.


Trump: They never say that.

2. Raising minimum wage is "a big, big problem"

Last week, California became poised to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, making it the highest of any state in the country. On Sunday, Trump said raising the minimum wage to $15 isn't helpful for the creation of jobs:

Jamie, an audience member: I'm just curious, what are your thoughts on minimum wage and the Fight for 15 movement?

Trump: OK, you know, the minimum wage is a very, very complex situation, because we are a noncompetitive country. We—if you look at what's going on throughout the world, we're considered—and one of the big problems we have are wages. I am going to make our country so competitive that people at minimum wage are going to escape the minimum wage. They're going to go up, and they're going to make a lot of money, and they're going to have companies and be involved with companies that are really successful, where they can be paid more and more money. But if you start raising that minimum wage, you're going to make a lot of our companies even more noncompetitive. And it would be a big, big problem.

But what I want to do is, I want to bring jobs back. We're going to bring jobs back from China. We're going to bring jobs back from Mexico and Japan. And all of these countries that are ripping us off, taking our money, taking our jobs, knocking our manufacturing. You know, in Wisconsin, you take a look, your manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin are way, way down. You know, I used to think wonderful things about Wisconsin. I was given a plaque by Governor [Scott] Walker because I supported him. I gave him a lot of money. I supported him. But the truth is...

Van Susteren: He's not supporting you?

Trump: No, no, he's not. You know why? Because I knocked him out of the presidency in about two minutes.


[Related: Ted Cruz Scores Endorsement From Ex-Rival Scott Walker]

Trump: I mean that's the only reason why.


Trump: And you know how I knocked him out? And I was actually surprised. There was a story in Time magazine. It was a very nice story. It was a cover story on him. And it was—I've had many more than him lately. I've done very well.

But I'll tell you, it was a story on him. And there was one paragraph toward the end that was a very bad paragraph. It talked about a deficit of $2.2 billion, an imbalance of the budget, $2.2 billion and all sorts of bad things—the schools are in bad shape, the roads are in bad shape, the highways. I said, What is this all about? And when I looked at it, I said, Wow, that's true. When I got up and started hitting him with information about Wisconsin, your jobs, your loss of trade, your loss of so much, all of a sudden, he went from being the front-runner to saying bye-bye, I'm getting out of the race.

3. "Look, I'm pro-life"

Four days before the town hall, Trump caused yet another stir when he told MSNBC's Chris Matthews that women should face "some sort of punishment" for having an abortion. Van Susteren brought up the issue on Sunday:

Van Susteren: Um, abortion...

Trump: Yes?

Van Susteren: In 1999, to Tim Russert you were very pro-choice, were your words, although you said you didn't like it. And in the...

Van Susteren: And that's true. That's a very important thing.

Van Susteren: No, I...


Trump: —really, just before that, they never play that.

Van Susteren: I said it.

Trump: I was...

Van Susteren: I read it, and I said it.

Trump: I was pained. I was pained (INAUDIBLE), but when they show it, because if they would go like 10 seconds before, I was pained when I said it. I was like, Oh, I—you know, I—like, I really don't like it. Then I said, very polite, but—but—but I am pro-life.

Van Susteren: OK, so what—OK...

Trump: Very.

Van Susteren: 2015, you made the public announcement that you're pro-life.

Trump: And I said why.

Van Susteren: And then this last week, we've been—it's been all over the map. At one point, you said that you would punish women...

Trump: Well, it wasn't all over the map.

Van Susteren: Well, OK.


Van Susteren: All right, then correct it for me. Tell me what you're thinking.

Trump: Look, I'm pro-life. Uh, Ronald Reagan was pro-life, with the exceptions, OK? Life of the mother, as you know, rape, incest. So with the—the three exceptions. That was Ronald Reagan. And that's been me. And it's been me for quite a period of time. Then when they ask questions about, you know, different things or they ask theoretical questions, in theory, in theory, if you did this and if you did that and if you did that, and interestingly, the question that we asked of me, I've had so many—you talk about Twitter—so many people on Twitter and so many—Robert Jeffress, I—who is a fantastic guy. He was on your show, Pastor Jeffress, he was saying what a—what an answer. That was a good answer. So many people said, Good answer.

But I wanted to—frankly, look, nobody is going to do more than—for women than me. Nobody respects women more than me. And I took that answer, and I—I—I didn't like it, because I think a lot of people didn't understand it. Women go through a lot. They go through a tremendous punishment of themselves. And I didn't like it because I wasn't sure if people would understand it. So I clarified it. But it was just a clarification, and I think it was well accepted.

[Related: Biggest Moments From MSNBC's Trump, Kasich Town Halls]

4. "Big, big tax reductions"

Trump shared his tax plan with the crowd gathered in Wisconsin's capital:

Amy, an audience member: My husband and I are hardworking middle-class folks, and every year at tax season, I'm always shocked to see how much we pay into taxes every year.

Trump: Yes.

Amy: I personally know people who have no jobs and no income who are getting $4,000 to $5,000 tax returns. How can this happen and what are you going to do to create a tax system that is fair and balanced for everyone?

Trump: That's such a great question. So Larry Kudlow, Dr. Kudlow, who is a fantastic economist and a great guy. He loves my plan. A lot of people love my plan. We're giving the biggest tax crease of any—a decrease—a big decrease—of any candidate running or has run, like it's not even close. In fact, the one criticism would be it's too much, because our middle class has been run out of town. They've been run out of the country. I mean our jobs have been taken. Everything has been taken. And on top of it, our people are paying more tax than they've ever paid. We're the highest-paid tax—in terms of taxes, no, no country in the world has higher taxes than the United States. The highest in the world.

So we're going to change all of it. I have a policy. It's one And it's a great tax plan. Your taxes are going way, way down, especially the middle class, and business is going way, way down, the highest taxed in the world. I think you're going to love it. And the other thing is, we're simplifying it. We're not only cutting it substantially, we're simplifying it. You're not going to have to go out and hire these firms, H&R Block, and pay a fortune to hire H&R Block because it's so complicated, you can't figure it out. Very simple, very few brackets.

One of the things we're doing for business, which I think is very important, we have companies that are leaving the country because they can't bring money into the country. Not only are their taxes too high, but there are trillions of dollars outside of the country.

You look at Pfizer is leaving now. And so many companies are leaving our country because they have money outside of the country. Everybody wants to let them—Democrats and Republicans, and they can't make a deal, because you have a president that's not a leader. We're going to have all of this money, is going to be allowed to come back in, and we're going to keep our companies in the United States. So important.

Van Susteren: But...

Trump: But big, big tax reductions.

Van Susteren: Does everybody get a tax break, even the very rich?

Trump: The very rich are going to be paying—well, first of all, on the very rich, let me explain. When we have things in the very rich that are so unfair to the general public, especially the hedge funds guys, like carried interest and different provisions that are very complex, that a lot of people wouldn't understand. But I'm getting rid of carried interest and, frankly, the ones that I'm really concerned about—you know, I like the—I like people—I like the workers. I call them the workers of this country—the best. I don't necessarily like the very rich, even though I'm one of the very rich.

But the very rich are going to end up probably paying more, but there's an incentive for them to invest…

Van Susteren: All right…

Trump: the country and to create jobs.