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

Articles by Catherine

Politicians paid tribune Thursday to civil rights icon Nelson Mandela after South African President Jacob Zuma announced the death of that country's first black president.

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Vice President Joe Biden said Friday that he informed Chinese leaders Washington would not recognize the country's newly declared air defense zone in the East China Sea. 

"I was very direct about my country’s position on China’s sudden announcement of an Air Defense Identification Zone," Biden said in a speech in Seoul, South Korea. "This announcement, to state the obvious, has created considerable apprehension across the region.  But I was absolutely clear on behalf of my President:  We do not recognize the zone.  It will have no effect on American operations.  Just ask my General.  None.  Zero."

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It's no secret that Scott Brown is being courted to run for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire.

But the former Massachusetts senator seemed to forget just where he was speaking Thursday night when asked during a visit to Londonderry, N.H. if he felt pressured to run against incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen. 

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Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) on Thursday affirmed she would continue to support the Affordable Care Act even though its roll out was less than stellar.

"The Affordable Care Act, as I said, the bill itself has got very good concepts and yes, I would support it again," Landrieu told New Orleans TV station WAFB. "But, that doesn't excuse the poor roll out of what should have happened. There should have not been a glitch in the software."

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Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) said Thursday that analysts told him the state "couldn't afford" not to expand Medicaid.

So far 25 states, all of which are run by either a Republican governor or have at least one GOP-controlled chamber in the legislature, are not expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) compared the risk he sees in expanding the program to "putting 1,000 more people on the Titanic" -- although Texas would forfeit $9.6 billion in matching funds by rejecting the expansion.

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The last thing the Republican Party wants to see in the next election season is a Todd Akin 2.0.

So the National Republican Congressional Committee has met with incumbents' aides to train them on "messaging against women opponents," Politico reported Thursday.

Akin tanked his 2012 campaign to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) when he argued against abortion by claiming the female body could shut down a pregnancy that resulted from "legitimate rape." Democrats have used such comments to accuse Republicans of waging a "war on women" ever since.

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According to Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, a person with a pre-existing condition applying for health insurance is like a reckless driver asking for auto collision coverage: they're both at fault.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution surfaced video Wednesday of Hudgens' appearance last month at a CSRA Republican Women's Club meeting, where the commissioner expressed concern that covering pre-existing conditions on the individual market would double insurance costs.

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At this stage in the game what Obamacare needs is "more of a course change than a course reversal," one House Republican told the New York Times in a story published Wednesday. 

“It’s not in dispute that many Americans’ lives are being disrupted in an important way by this law,” Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA) said, as quoted by the Times. “Is it also true that some Americans’ lives have gotten better? Yes, and to not acknowledge that is to deny reality.” 

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The Republican National Committee has zeroed in on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a potential target in the 2016 presidential race, Chairman Reince Priebus said Wednesday.

Asked by radio host Hugh Hewitt if the RNC began to look at Clinton as the Democrats' presumed nominee, Priebus said the RNC's research shop already turned its attention to the former State Department leader.

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