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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

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is also serving as chair of next week's Democratic National Convention, said on Friday that his party's confab will have more substance and less glitz than this week's Republican National Convention.

"You won't see all of the Madison Avenue ad executives as you saw the last convention, kind of made Governor Romney warmer and fuzzier," Villaraigosa told MSNBC's Chuck Todd. "What you will see is a lot more beef."

Republican nominee Mitt Romney will travel to LaFitte, La. today to observe damage inflicted on the area by Hurricane Isaac, CNN reports.  Romney will travel to the storm-affected region following a morning campaign event with his running mate, Paul Ryan, in Florida. 

Garrett Haake, campaign embed reporter for NBC News, reports that Romney's decision to travel to Louisiana will supplant a planned campaign stop in Virginia originally scheduled for this afternoon.  Only Ryan will appear at the day's second campaign event in the Commonwealth.

 

President Barack Obama's senior campaign adviser David Axelrod on Friday said this week's Republican National Convention served as more of a launching pad for the party's future presidential candidates than an event to promote the current GOP nominee.

"It felt like open mic night for 2016 candidates and not a convention that seemed to be promoting Mitt Romney in 2012," Axelrod told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."  "But you know, we will see. Obviously, what happens in the next few weeks will reflect part of what people saw here and maybe they received it differently than I perceive they did. But I don't -- I think they did a lot of work whipping each other up, and you know, hitting the tea party base and the social conservative base and presenting their future talent. I don't think they did much to advance the cause of Mitt Romney."

This year's RNC included a slew of speakers pegged as rising stars within the party, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.  

Ann Romney offered her first response on Friday morning to Clint Eastwood's eyebrow-raising speech at the Republican National Convention, calling the iconic actor's Thursday night address "unique."

"Well, you know, again, we appreciated Clint's support and he's a unique guy and he did a unique thing last night," Romney said during an interview on "CBS This Morning."

 

Watch highlights from Eastwood's speech:

         

President Barack Obama will depart for Fort Bliss, Texas this morning to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq, according to a White House press schedule.

Obama will conduct a roundtable discussion with service members and their families at the Army installation and will speak to troops later in the day.  

Reached by Politico for a response to Clint Eastwood's bizarre, offbeat speech at the Republican National Convention on Thursday, Obama campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt declined to delve into specifics, but instead deferred to a late Spanish painter known for his surrealist work.  

"Referring all questions on this to Salvador Dali," LaBolt told Politico via email.  

Watch highlights from Eastwood's speech:

 

 
         

President Barack Obama holds a small lead over Mitt Romney in Michigan, according to a new snap poll released Thursday.

The latest automated survey from in-state pollster EPIC-MRA — conducted on August 28 — shows Obama nursing a 3-point advantage over Romney among likely Michigan voters, 49 percent to 46 percent.  Obama held a 6-point lead in Michigan in the previous EPIC-MRA poll conducted a month ago.  

Romney claims a strong edge among independent voters in Thursday's poll, leading Obama by 13 points.  Women voters in Michigan, on the other hand, prefer the president over his Republican challenger, 51 percent to 44 percent.

The PollTracker Average of Michigan, which currently shows Obama up by less than 2 points, depicts how the presidential race in the state has grown increasingly competitive over the summer. 

 

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Thursday was asked for his take on why Latino voters overwhelmingly support Democrats, including President Barack Obama.  The junior senator from Florida told Fox News Channel's Bret Baier that the trend was at least partly due to where Latino voters live — and the influence of the local politics that permeates their communities.

"Well, look, some of it is historic in nature," Rubio said during the pre-taped interview that aired on Thursday evening. "These are communities and towns and states, California comes to mind and so does New York, that happen to be bastions of the Democratic politics. And so, people move there and it's logical thatl they turn into Democrats or vote in that direction. But that's going to change." 

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Thursday accused MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews of losing control of his emotions during a contentious on-air exchange between the two earlier this week.

"My reaction as it was happening is that 'OK, Chris Matthews is just trying to make a scene for his brand and his own show,' " Priebus said during an interview on America's Radio News. "I mean, everyone watching that saw a guy that was unhinged, and he was acting bizarre. Why would I put all the focus on me during the week of the convention and jump in the ditch with someone who was hysterical?"

h/t The Hill

Watch a portion of the exchange:

 

         

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