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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

While President Barack Obama claims the upper hand on character and likability, a majority of Americans prefer Mitt Romney to serve as steward of the national economy, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

The latest USA Today/Gallup poll shows that 51 percent prefer the presumptive Republican nominee on issues related to the economy, while 41 percent prefer Obama.  Americans also give the nod to Romney over Obama when it comes to creating jobs, 50-44 percent.  Moreover, 55 percent say Romney is the best candidate to balance the federal budget deficit, compared with 36 percent who give Obama the edge on that front.

The president's chief advantage comes on matters related to personality and character, with 60 percent saying Obama is more likable than Romney.  Only 30 percent say the former Massachusetts governor is more likable than Obama.  When it comes to understanding the problems Americans face in their daily lives, 50 percent say Obama is the best candidate while 39 percent say Romney is better-suited.

The PollTracker Average currently shows Romney with a solid advantage over Obama on the economy.  

Monsignor William Lynn of the Philadelphia Archdiocese was found guilty Tuesday of one count of child endangerment , receiving slightly less than the maximum sentence of three-and-a-half to seven years in prison for the third-degree felony.  The trial represented the first time that U.S. prosecutors charged leaders within the Catholic Church for failing to stop priests who allegedly committed the abuse.  

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has drawn plenty of criticism —even from some Republicans — for raising questions about longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin's alleged associations with the Muslim Brotherhood, but Newt Gingrich is one prominent politician who is defending the tea party congresswoman.

During an appearance on POLITICO Live's Driving the Day on Tuesday morning, the former House Speaker opted not to take a swipe at Bachmann, arguing that the question she raised "ought to be asked across the board."  

"There weren’t allegations, there was a question," Gingrich said.

A new video from the Republican National Committee released Tuesday takes a harsh view of President Barack Obama's economic record.  The video incorporates Obama's now-ubiquitous "the private sector is doing fine" and "you didn't build that" lines, both of which have become campaign fodder for Republicans and the party's presumptive presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.    

Watch "These Aren't Gaffes": 

The AP reports:

A $2.2 million expedition that hoped to find wreckage from famed aviator Amelia Earhart's final flight is on its way back to Hawaii without the dramatic, conclusive plane images searchers were hoping to attain.

But the group leading the search, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, still believes Earhart and her navigator crashed onto a reef off a remote island in the Pacific Ocean 75 years ago this month, its president told The Associated Press on Monday.

President Barack Obama's average approval rating nudged up slightly in his 14th quarter in office from the 13th quarter, according to Gallup.

Obama average approval rating of 46.8 percent in the 14th quarter places him in the 32nd percentile among the quarterly averages of all presidents. It marks a modest improvement fromt the 13th quarter, when Obama's average approval rating stood at 45.9 percent, as well as a larger jump from the nadir of the 11th quarter, when the president averaged a paltry 41 percent approval rating.  

The 14th quarter of the Obama presidency encompassed April 20-July 19.  

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) told The Hill that he recently crossed party lines and made a $250 donation to the re-election campaign of Democratic colleague, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).  

“I think he votes thinking about the long-term interests of the country. We don’t agree on everything but he’s a good guy,” Coburn said.

A heavy favorite to win re-election over his Republican challenger, Manchin said earlier this year that he is unsure whether he will vote for President Barack Obama and that he will not attend the Democratic National Convention in early September.  

President Barack Obama holds a smaller-than-expected 6-point lead over Mitt Romney in Minnesota, according to a new poll from SurveyUSA.

In the statewide poll, conducted on behalf of ABC affiliate KSTP-TV in the Twin Cities, Obama earns the support of 46 percent of likely voters in Minnesota, while Romney trails with 40 percent.  The poll shows a much closer race in the North Star State than previous polls.  In SurveyUSA's previous poll from early May, Obama led Romney, 52 percent to 38 percent.  A survey from left-leaning firm Public Policy Polling in early June showed Obama with a 15-point edge over Romney.  

Democrats have carried Minnesota in the previous nine presidential elections, and Obama won the state in 2008 over Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) by 10 points.  

The statue of longtime Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno was removed Sunday morning from its location outside Beaver Stadium, where the storied program plays its home games.  Rodney Erickson, president of the university, announced that the statue will be relocated to a "secure location."

The decision to remove the statue comes on the heels of a scathing report by former FBI director Louis J. Freeh that found that Paterno had concealed allegations of sex abuse by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.  

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