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

Even after being denounced by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and her former presidential campaign manager Ed Rollins, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) remains unabated in her assertion that Islamists have infiltrated the U.S. government.

A letter signed by Bachmann and four other congressional Republicans last week suggested that members of the Muslim Brotherhood had secured access to senior officials within the Obama administration.  The letter singled out Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  On Wednesday, McCain, Brown and Rollins sharply rebuked Bachmann.

But the tea party champion won't back down. In a statement released Wednesday, Bachmann claimed that she had been distorted and said that she will not be "silent as this administration appeases our enemies instead of telling the truth about the threats our country faces.”


George Allen and Tim Kaine remain neck and neck in Virginia's competitive U.S. Senate race, according to the latest poll from Quinnipiac University.  

Thursday's poll shows Allen earning the support of 46 percent of Virginia voters, while Kaine trails with 44 percent.  The two candidates are vying to fill the seat being vacated by first-term Sen. Jim Webb (D), who announced last year that he would not seek re-election.  Webb was elected in 2006, after notching an upset over Allen. Kaine, a former governor of Virginia, most recently served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. 

The PollTracker Average currently shows Allen and Kaine virtually tied.  

Speaking from his own personal experience, former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer believes it is too soon for Anthony Weiner to return to the political arena, the New York Oberserver reports.

“I think we can all agree that a year is not a terribly lengthy period of time,” Spitzer said during an appearance on NY1's "Inside City Hall." “Obviously I’m in a sort of difficult position to talk about this. It’s been five years since I left office. Five years is more than one. You can see people’s sensibilities change as they see you, talk to you, as you’ve done more things.”

Weiner resigned from Congress a year ago after indecent photos sent from his Twitter account surfaced, but rumors have swirled recently that he might be on the verge of a comeback — something the outspoken former U.S. House representative has denied.  In 2008, Spitzer was embroiled in his own scandal after it was revealed that he patronized a prostitution service, ultimately leading to his resignation.  

Nearly two-thirds of Americans are opposed to the consequences of the landmark 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a new poll released Tuesday shows.

The poll, conducted by the PERT Group on behalf of the First Amendment Center, shows that 63 percent disagree with the notion that corporations and unions should be allowed to engage in unlimited campaign spending.


While the likes of Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) vow to resist implementation of state-level insurance exchanges mandated under the Affordable Care Act, former Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN) is one notable Republican who endorses the provision.

In an editorial for The Week published Tuesday, the former majority leader of the Senate writes that both parties should support the insurance exchanges, noting that they were originally a "Republican idea."  A doctor, Frist says that he "sees little advantage" for Republican governors to refuse to set up exchanges in their own states and "default to the federally designed, one-size-fits-all exchange when they can design and run their own."

From the piece:

State exchanges are the solution. They represent the federalist ideal of states as "laboratories for democracy." We are seeing 50 states each designing a model that is right for them, empowered to take into account their individual cultures, politics, economies, and demographics. While much planning has yet to be done, we are already seeing a huge range in state models. I love the diversity and the innovation.


President Barack Obama holds a slim lead over Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, according to a new poll released Tuesday evening.

The latest poll from the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, Obama claims the support of 49 percent of likely voters, while Romney trails with 45 percent.  Obama held a 9-point lead over Romney in UNH's previous poll in April.

Democrats have carried New Hampshire in four of the last five presidential elections, but the Granite State is favorable terrain for the presumptive Republican nominee in 2012.  Romney has a home in New Hampshire and he served as governor in neighboring Massachusetts. In January, he won the state's Republican primary handily.  

The PollTracker Average currently shows Obama narrowly edging Romney in New Hampshire.

Even as President Barack Obama's campaign continues to levy tough criticism at Mitt Romney, a new poll released Wednesdays shows that the presumptive Republican nominee's campaign performance is viewed more unfavorably than the incumbent's re-election efforts.

In the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, the public is split over the way Obama is running his campaign: 46 percent view the president's campaign favorably, compared with 45 percent who view it unfavorably.  Romney, on the other hand, gets low marks for his campaign.  Only 38 percent have a favorable view of the way Romney is running his campaign, while 49 percent have an unfavorable view.


President Barack Obama's campaign is keeping the heat on Mitt Romney for his tenure at Bain Capital with the release of a new web video.

The video incorporates vox populi, with individuals on the street asked to read Romney's explanation for his retention of ownership of Bain between 1999 and 2002 while ostensibly playing no role in the management operations of the firm.

Watch the video:


Speaking at a private fundraiser Tuesday night in Austin, Texas, President Barack Obama said the stakes are higher in 2012 than they were in 2008 due to a partisan shift within the Republican Party.  

Obama told the crowd of donors that his opponent four years ago, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), was a moderate compared to the likes of Mitt Romney, creating a much starker "contrast of visions" in this year's race.  

Per a White House pool report:

I mean, John McCain believed in campaign finance reform.  He believed in climate change.  He believed in science.  (Laughter.)  No -- I mean, when I speak about climate change, I mean, I think that’s -- I pay attention to scientists.  He believed in immigration reform. 

And right now, what we’ve seen is just a much more sharp division in terms of how we should move this country forward.  And so, in some ways, this election I think is more important than in 2008, and it’s going to be a very close election. 

A strong majority of voters believe Mitt Romney should take a cue from his father when it comes to releasing his tax returns, a new poll released Tuesday shows.

The latest survey conducted by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) on behalf of Daily Kos and SEIU shows that 56 percent of American voters believe Romney should release his tax returns for the last 12 years, compared with only 34 percent who believe he should not.  

George Romney, the late former governor of Michigan and father of the presumptive Republican nominee, released 12 years' worth of his tax returns when he ran for president in 1968, famously quipping that "one year could be a fluke."