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Tom Kludt

Tom Kludt is a News Writer for Talking Points Memo based in New York City. A former research intern and polling fellow for TPM, Tom served as assistant polling editor for TPM Media's PollTracker during the 2012 campaign. Before joining TPM, he worked on political campaigns and wrote for various publications in Minnesota and his native South Dakota. Tom graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Dakota in May of 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science and History. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Tom

President Barack Obama was asked Friday at a news conference in the White House briefing room about the role the United States is playing in the European debt crisis.  Obama took the opportunity to detail the complexities that have disrupted the fragile European economy.

"First of all, the situation in Europe is not simply a debt crisis," Obama said. "You've got some countries like Greece that have spent more than they're bringing in, and they've got problems. There are other countries that actually were running a surplus and had fairly responsible fiscal policies but had weaknesses similar to what happened here with respect to their housing market and that has weakened their financial system." 

President Barack Obama took aim at Congress during a Friday morning news conference at the White House for failing to pass a jobs bill he advocates.  Had Congress passed the bill last September, Obama said, "we'd be on track to have a million more Americans working this year."

"We could be putting he a lot of people back to work rebuilding our roads, bridges, some of our schools," Obama said. "There's work to be done. There are workers to do it. Let's put them back to work right now."

President Barack Obama highlighted the economic struggles in Europe during a news conference Friday morning at the White House, while calling on the continent's leaders to help stabilize the Eurozone.

"Obviously this matters to us because europe is our largest economic trading partner, if there's less demand for our products in places like Paris or Madrid, it could mean less businesses or less business for manufacturers in places like Pittsburgh," Obama said.   

Most Americans don't know enough about Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), a man pegged by many as a potential running mate to Republican nominee Mitt Romney, according to a new poll released Friday.  

The latest ABC/Washington Post poll tracks Americans' opinions of three current and former elected officials considered to be possible vice presidential nominees on the Republican ticket: Portman, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.  

Among those surveyed, 51 percent have no opinion of Portman, a reflection of his status as a low-key senator.  Thirty percent have an unfavorable view of the Ohio senator, while 19 percent view Portman favorably.  Rubio and Bush fare a bit better — at least in terms of recognition.  Twenty-nine percent view Rubio favorably, compared 36 percent who have a favorable view of Bush.  Only 19 percent have no opinion of Bush, while 39 percent feel the same way of Rubio.

A new CBS/New York Times poll released Thursday shows a large majority of Americans believe the nine justices on the Supreme Court allow their political leanings to influence their rulings.

While 44 percent of Americans approve of the way the Court is handling its job, 76 percent of those surveyed said that the justices are swayed by their ideology.  Only 13 percent said their rulings are based purely on legal analysis.  

The BBC reports:

UN monitors are making a second attempt to reach a village in Syria's Hama province where a massacre took place. The observers, who were fired at near to Qubair village on Thursday, left in convoy from Damascus and are now close to the village. 

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the massacre, warning of an imminent danger of civil war. Activists say government-backed militia killed 78 people in Qubair, but the regime says terrorists are responsible.

 

As Democrats open up new attacks against his record as governor of Massachusetts, a new television ad from Mitt Romney's campaign released Friday highlights his time as leader of the Bay State.

The positive ad, titled "Strong Leadership," offers a rosy assessment of Romney's one-term as governor, a clear counter to the Obama campaign's recent effort to highlight the Republican nominee's lackluster jobs record in Massachusetts.  

  

As the Supreme Court prepares its historic ruling on the Affordable Care Act — also known as "Obamacare" — a new CNN/ORC International poll released Friday shows that Americans are still opposed to the new health care law passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in 2010.

According to the poll, 51 percent of Americans are opposed to the health care law, while 43 percent support the reform.  Those results are consistent with the results of the CNN/ORC poll conducted in March.  The Supreme Court could rule on the constitutionality of the health care law next week.  Interestingly, the poll showed that only one-third of respondents object to the law because it is too liberal — a frequent charge from Republicans.

The TPM Poll Average captures the longstanding opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

Rick Santorum announced Friday during an interview on Fox News Channel the launch of a new website that bills itself as "a grassroots and online community of Americans from across the country committed to promoting faith, family, freedom and opportunity in accordance with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights": PatriotVoices.com.

Santorum told the hosts of "Fox and Friends" that the website will be used to advance conservative causes, which will include assisting the campaign of his erstwhile rival, Mitt Romney.  The former Pennsylvania senator also denied that his endorsement of Romney that came in a late night email last month was not intended as a slight.

"We wanted it to be in their mailbox first thing in the morning so it didn't get buried later in the day," Santorum said.  

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