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

Gail Gitcho, communications director for the Romney campaign, said on Tuesday that the presumptive Republican nominee will be in the house Tuesday night when his wife, Ann Romney, delivers her speech at the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla. 

But while Gitcho confirmed to Fox News that Mitt Romney will be in attendance, she played it coy when asked if he will take the stage.

"We'll have to wait and see," Gitcho said.  

Robert Gibbs, senior adviser to the Obama campaign, said Tuesday that he doesn't necessarily think the Romney campaign's recent attacks on the president for purportedly gutting the work requirement from the welfare program are racially motivated — as many Democrats have suggested.  What they are, Gibbs said on MSNBC, are completely inaccurate.

"I don't know if they're dog whistling to people in their party," Gibbs told MSNBC's Chuck Todd. "The ad is 100 percent completely false. There is not one person in this country that has looked at this ad from an independent perspective and said the president has in any way, shape or form ended the work requirement."


Mike Huckabee said on "Fox & Friends" Tuesday morning that government programs such as food stamps do serve a purpose, but expanding them runs the risk of enslaving the very people who rely on them.

There are some people in this country who need food stamps. There are people who need help. We understand that. We don't want to make ever a situation where there is not a need for some of those programs. But when you start expanding government programs that enslave people rather than empower them to come off of those programs with the job and dignity of work, then that's the opposite effect of what those programs were intended to do. They were supposed to be a ladder out of a hole. Not a top on the hole to keep you there.

Former Senate majority leader and Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole heaped glowing praise on the Republican ticket in Tuesday's Des Moines Register.  

Ryan previously served as a speechwriter for the late Jack Kemp, Dole's running mate in the 1996 presidential election.

It is no surprise that the Democrats are spewing bitter attacks straight from the negative political playbook of attacking your opponents when your record is sparse.

When I ran for president, Jack Kemp was my running mate. Jack was a mentor to Paul Ryan. They come from the same stock of thoughtful and determined risk takers who never shrink from policy prescriptions that will better the country.

I am proud to know Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Given the problems confronting the nation, I consider this to be a dream ticket — for the Republican Party and the United States.

Read the entire piece here.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on Tuesday acknowledged Congress' dismal approval ratings, but the Minnesota Congresswoman and one-time presidential aspirant said the lion's share of the blame should be directed at one legislative body in particular.

Appearing on Fox News Channel, Bachmann argued that she and her House Republican colleagues have done their part.  It's the Senate, controlled by Democrats, that has let voters down, she said.

The House of Representatives, as I said, we passed multiple bills, we sent them to the Senate where they died a sorry death. Harry Reid said, this is unbelievable. He's the head of the Senate. He said, I'm not going to do anything this year. They should be fired over there! I think the president should be castigating Harry Reid and saying, get something done so I can compromise with Republicans. The president, unfortunately, isn't advancing and neither is Harry Reid. So we can pass all the bills we want in the House, but if they don't go anywhere with the Denate and the president, the American people are the ones who lose. That's not right. We want the American people to win and that's why we're trying to do everything we can to change out the president and change out Harry Reid as the leader so that we can actually get something done for the good of the American people.


The presidential race remains extremely close among voters nationwide, as President Barack Obama claims an advantage on compassion while Mitt Romney is seen as better for job creation, a new poll released Tuesday shows.

According to the latest survey from CBS News, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are in a dead heat with Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), 46 percent to 45 percent.  

Obama is widely viewed as the more empathetic candidate. Fifty-four percent of voters say the president understands problems of people like them, while 42 percent say he does not. Only 41 percent of voters say Romney understands their problems, compared with 50 percent who say he does not.

But voters have more confidence in the former Massachusetts governor's ability to improve the nation's employment outlook, with 43 percent saying Romney has a clear plan to create jobs and 45 percent saying he does not.  Conversely, only 35 percent say Obama has a clear jobs plan, while 58 percent say he does not.

The PollTracker Average shows Obama only edging Romney by a razor-thin margin, 46.4 percent to 46.1 percent. 

Professional wrestling mogul and Republican nominee Linda McMahon leads Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) in Connecticut's tight U.S. Senate race, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

The latest survey from Quinnipiac University shows McMahon leading Murphy among likely Connecticut voters, 49 percent to 46 percent.  

The PollTracker Average currently mirrors the findings of the Quinnipiac poll, with McMahon leading Murphy by 3 points. 

As Republicans and Democrats descend on Florida and North Carolina over the next two weeks for their respective conventions, a new poll released Monday shows a tight presidential race in both battlegrounds.

In a new CNN/Time poll, available exclusively on the CNN/Time Convention Floor Pass app, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden top Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) among likely voters in Florida, 50 percent to 46 percent. Obama and Biden have a 12-point lead among Florida women and a 41-point advantage among "non-white" voters in the Sunshine State.

Romney and Ryan, meanwhile, lead by 4 points among men and hold an 18-point advantage among white voters. Among voters 65 years and older -- a bloc drawing increased attention, particularly in Florida, due to the campaign's recent focus on Medicare -- the GOP ticket leads by 6 points, 51 percent to 45 percent.

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The United States Medical Marijuana Chamber of Commerce on Monday announced that it will endorse President Barack Obama in this year's election. 

Thomas L. Leto III, president and founder of the group, said Obama understands the economic potential of medical cannabis.  Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, Leto argued, "just doesn't get it."  

Legalization advocates may be chagrined by the endorsement.  The Obama administration has disappointed many drug reform proponents by the ramp up in federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries during the president's first term even in states where they are legal.   

(h/t Politicker)