Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. Before joining TPM, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She is a graduate of New York University, where she served as the deputy managing editor of NYU's student newspaper, the Washington Square News. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Catherine

Republican politicians and conservative pundits alike have been apoplectic in recent days over President Obama's approach to combating the Islamic State terror group in the Middle East in general and his administration's hesitance to label the group's militants as Islamic in particular.

The outrage surged against a backdrop of brutal attacks carried out by the terror group, also known as ISIL or ISIS, as well as a pair of shootings at a free speech event and a synagogue in Copenhagen, Denmark.

By Thursday, the right's rage had spiraled into a litmus test in which potential 2016 Republican presidential contenders were leaping to tell the public whether they believed Obama really "loves America."

In some ways, the latest test unfolded much the same way as the last one did. In that case, the issue of the moment was unexpectedly and suddenly about vaccine mandates.

Here is a brief look at how the GOP's latest debate took root:

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