Tom Kludt

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Tom

A video courtesy of the Associated Press captured footage of Egyptian authorities firing tear gas at protesters in Cairo on Wednesday. The protest was held in opposition to the recent power grab by President Mohammed Morsi.  


Pfc. Bradley Manning may testify for the first time on Wednesday, the Washington Post reports. Manning's attorney is trying to persuade the judge that that the 24-year-old Army private's detention before his trial began was unlawful.

Manning is accused of leaking scores of documents to Wikileaks. 

The proposal to raise taxes on those earning more than $250,000 annually — one of President Obama's central campaign pitches — continues to be popular among a large majority of Americans, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll out Wednesday.

Sixty percent of those surveyed support the proposal, compared with just 37 percent who are opposed. The debate over raising taxes on the high-income earners was one of the defining issues of the 2012 campaign, although polls have consistently shown broad support for the proposal backed by Obama and the Democrats.

Meanwhile, an even larger portion of Americans — 67 percent — are opposed to raising the age for Medicare coverage from 65 to 67. Some Republicans such as Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) have suggested raising the Medicare eligibility age as part of their proposal to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff."

The Post provides a breakdown of the across-the-board opposition to the change to Medicare eligibility:

Democrats, Republicans and independents also unite in opposition to hiking the entry age for Medicare, with the opposition particularly stiff among Democrats. Opposition to such a change peaks (naturally) among those aged 50 to 64 — the very people who will soon reap those benefits.

Author Tom Ricks continued his battle with Fox News on Tuesday in a series of emails with TPM, insisting that he never really apologized for attacking the network's coverage of the September attack in Benghazi in his now-viral interview.

Fox executive Michael Clemente has repeatedly said that Ricks apologized to the network following the Monday interview. But in the email to TPM, Ricks called Clemente's account "misleading."

"Rather than quote an offhand departure comment that is misleading, you should ask Bret Baier about the conversation I had with him after the interview," Ricks told TPM. "It was lengthy, and on point. And contained no apologies."

"You pretty much have my end of it," Ricks wrote in another email. "But there is more to be told by Fox."

They are both widely admired by New Jersey voters, but a poll released Tuesday shows that Gov. Chris Christie (R) holds a commanding edge over Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker (D) in a potential preview of New Jersey's 2013 gubernatorial race.

In the latest Rutgers-Eagleton poll, Christie leads Booker in the hypothetical match-up 53 percent to 34 percent. Although Booker enjoys high popularity among New Jersey voters surveyed, it's nothing compared to the star status attained by Christie. Sixty-seven percent of voters approve of the job Christie is doing, the same percentage who have a favorable view of the first-term governor. Among the 52 percent who have a favorable opinion of Booker, 43 percent would still support Christie over the Democrat.

The PollTracker Average illustrates how Christie's already-high approval rating improved even more following Superstorm Sandy, which rocked New Jersey late last month.


Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker on Tuesday said he intends to make a decision on whether to run in the state's 2013 gubernatorial race "as quickly as possible," but he won't be influenced by the news that popular Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) will seek re-election. 

"I'm giving a run for governor thorough consideration," Booker said in an interview with The Star-Ledger. "I will make a decision as quickly as possible. Critical to my decision is not the difficulties of the politics or positioning in polls but choosing the position — mayor, governor, U.S. senator or one outside of electoral politics — from which I can make the best contributions to the city and state I love."

A poll from Quinnipiac University out Tuesday suggested that Christie would make for a formidable foe, with 72 percent of New Jersey voters currently approving of the job he is doing as governor.

In an interview with the website TVNewser on Tuesday, Fox News Channel executive vice president Michael Clemente stood by his claim that author Tom Ricks offered a private apology following his appearance on the network.

Ricks denied that he ever expressed contrition following his interview on Monday, during which the Pulitzer Prize winner sharply criticized Fox's coverage of the September attack in Benghazi.

“I’m surprised by the General’s utter dishonesty,” Clemente said, as quoted by TVNewser. “I’ll refresh his memory – what he said following the segment was, ‘Sorry… I’m tired from a non-stop book tour.’ Perhaps now he can finally get some rest.”

Ricks is not a military general, although Clemente may have been making a reference to the title of the author's latest book, "The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today."


Update: This post has been changed to correct the name of the book. The post and headline have also been updated to clarify that Clemente accused Ricks of dishonesty and that he may have been referring to Ricks' book in his quote.


Author and reporter Tom Ricks on Tuesday kept the heat on Fox News Channel after an executive for the network claimed in an interview that the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist apologized in private for his sharp criticism of Fox's coverage of the September attack in Benghazi.

FNC executive vice president Michael Clemente told the Hollywood Reporter that Ricks apologized behind closed doors following his appearance on the network on Monday, something the Ricks denied ever took place. In an interview with Politico's Mackenzie Weinger on Tuesday, Ricks gave an even more critical assessment of Clemente's claims, as well as the journalistic practices of both Fox and the Hollywood Reporter.

“Clemente is making it up, and it is sloppy of Hollywood Reporter to not ask him for specifics (what exactly am I alleged to have said?) and also to seek a response from me,” Ricks wrote via email. “Why are they doing this? Because their MO is that when the facts aren’t on their side, they attack the person.”

Fox News Channel executive vice president Michael Clemente on Monday responded to the much-discussed interview with Tom Ricks, claiming that the Pulitizer Prize winner apologized privately for criticizing the network's coverage of the September attack in Benghazi, Libya. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Clemente accused Ricks of using the interview to generate publicity for his new book, The Generals. Clemente also seemed to take exception to the lack of public contrition from Ricks.

“When Mr. Ricks ignored the anchor’s question, it became clear that his goal was to bring attention to himself -- and his book," Clemente told THR via email. "He apologized in our offices afterward but doesn’t have the strength of character to do that publicly."

But that's news to Ricks, who told THR in his own email that he never offered an apology to Fox — privately or publicly.

"Please ask Mr. Clemente what the words of my supposed apology were. I'd be interested to know," Ricks said. "Frankly, I don't remember any such apology."

Watch the exchange between Ricks and Scott: