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

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan on Friday responded to Clint Eastwood's baffling speech at the GOP convention, saying the the actor and filmmaker's address was not a distraction.

Following a campaign rally in Richmond, Va., Ryan told a local television station, “I think Clint Eastwood was just being Clint Eastwood ... One of the most profound things that Clint said was that 23 million people are out of work, struggling to find jobs. It’s unacceptable."

h/t Politico

In an exclusive interview with Parade set to hit newstands on Sunday, President Barack Obama suggested that it may be easier to achieve a consensus with Congressional Republicans in a second term if they espoused the views of the people who vote them into office.

Republican voters, if you ask them about my particular policy positions, often agree with me. So there’s a difference between Republicans in Washington and Republican and Republican-leaning voters around the country. I think that after this election, we’ll be in a position to once again reach out to Republicans and say that the American people have rendered a judgment, and the positions we’re taking are well within what used to be considered bipartisan centrist approaches.

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.