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

Mitt Romney holds a 4-point lead over President Barack Obama in North Carolina, according to a new poll released Monday.

The latest survey from Elon University, commissioned by the Charlotte News Observer and the News & Observer of Raleigh, shows Romney leading Obama among likely Tar Heel State voters, 47 percent to 43 percent.  While Romney's advantage isn't huge, it's a divergence from a different survey conducted by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) and released late Sunday night, which showed a dead heat between Obama and Romney in North Carolina.

Obama made history four years when he became the first Democrat since Jimmy Carter in 1976 to carry North Carolina, which has emerged as a crucial battleground in 2012 as well.  Democrats signaled their intentions to keep North Carolina "blue" with the decision to host the party's convention in Charolotte.  The PollTracker Average currently shows the presidential race in the state to be a toss-up, with Romney barely edging Obama, 47.1 percent to 45.7 percent.  Elon conducted its poll August 25-30 using live telephone interviews with 1,030 likely voters.  The poll has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.


Read More →

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Monday said President Barack Obama is out of step with most of the American public, unlike the last Democrat to control the White House.

"The problem that Obama has with Bill Clinton is that Obama is not your daddy's Democrat," Priebus told CNN's Soledad O'Brien.  "He's not a mainstream Democrat like Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton worked with both sides of the aisle. He was able to get things done. [Former President George W.] Bush worked with both sides of the aisle."

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Monday said the evidence simply doesn't support the notion that the United States is in better shape than it was four years ago.

Appearing on CNN's "Starting Point," Priebus was asked by Soledad O'Brien if he thought it was a fair point to suggest that the U.S. has indeed made strides from years ago, when the economy was bleeding jobs and the major financial institutions were frozen.

"The problem with that answer is the facts don't bear it out and that's why people like David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs couldn't answer the questions yesterday on the Sunday morning shows because the facts are fewer people are employed today," Priebus said.  "The debt is more out of control than it ever was in the history of this country. The president didn't cut the deficit in half like he promised."

Read More →

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) on Monday walked back a remark that was quickly pounced on by Republicans.  

During an appearance on "Face the Nation" on Sunday, O'Malley said "no" to the question of whether the United States is better off than it was four years ago.

"No, but that's not the question of the elction," O'Malley told CBS' Bob Schieifer.

On Monday, O'Malley offered a different response, one that will likely please Democrats and President Barack Obama's campaign.  

"Here's the reality ofur situation as a country," O'Malley told CNN's Soledad O'Brien.  "We are clearly better off as a country because we're creating jobs rather than losing them."

Pressed by O'Brien, the potential 2016 presidential contender elaborated.

"We have not recovered all that we lost in the Bush recession. That's why we need to continue to move forward. Is there anybody on this panel that thinks we've recovered all we lost in the Bush recession? I don't think anybody can say that. But clearly we're moving forward and creating jobs. Unemployment is down and job creation is up. And those positive movements would not happen without the president's leadership."

Read More →

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

Read More →

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.


Read More →

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.  

Read More →