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

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. 

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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." 

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Reuters reports that Mitt Romney has reached the final stages of selecting a vice presidential running mate, with growing speculation that he has narrowed the short list to three prospective candidates: Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.  

A report in the New York Times on Monday suggested that Romney had already decided on the other half of the Republican ticket and that the announcement could come as early as this week.  

A new poll shows that while New Jersey voters widely approve of the job their outspoken governor is doing, they don't think much of his vice presidential prospects.  

In the latest poll from Quinnipiac University released Tuesday, Gov. Chris Christie (R) boasts an impressive 54 percent approval rating among Garden State voters.  The first term governor's approval rating has been above 50 percent in each of Quinnipiac's surveys of New Jersey this year, peaking at 59 percent in April.  

But those same New Jersey voters aren't convinced he'd make a good running mate to presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.  Fifty-three percent say Christie would be a bad addition to the Republican ticket, compared with 40 percent who think he would be a good choice.

The PollTracker Average shows that Christie has maintained a high marks for his job performance throughout 2012, a turnaround from where his approval rating stood a year ago.

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By a two-to-one margin, the public views President Barack Obama's call to raise taxes on high-income earners as good for the economy, a new poll released Monday shows.

According to the latest survey from Pew Research Center, 44 percent believe that raising taxes on income above $250,000 would help the economy, while 22 percent say it would hurt the economy.  The same percentage — 44 — says such a tax increase would make the current tax system more fair.  

It's little surprise that strong majorities of Democrats support Obama's proposal and believe that it would make the tax system more equitable, but Republicans are not as virulently opposed as one might assume.  Forty-one percent of Republicans say that it would hurt the economy — compared with 27 percent who believe it would help — but 24 percent say it would make no difference.  And while 36 percent of Republicans believe the proposal would make the tax system less fair, 30 percent say it would make no difference at all and 25 percent say it would make the system more fair.  


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President Barack Obama holds a slim 2-point lead over Mitt Romney in a composite poll of 12 states, including narrow leads in Ohio, Colorado and Virginia.

The latest Purple Strategies poll released Monday shows Obama leading Romney, 48 percent to 46 percent, among a combined sample of likely voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. The cumulative results show Obama's lead unchanged from the previous Purple Strategies poll in June, in which Obama also led Romney 48 percent to 46 percent.

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The favorability rating of Chief Justice John Roberts is now significantly higher among Democrats than Republicans, according to a new poll from Gallup.  

According to the survey, 27 percent of Republicans nationwide have a favorable view of Roberts, compared with 44 percent who have an unfavorable view. That represents a 40-point drop since 2005, when Gallup found that 67 percent of Republicans viewed Roberts favorably and only 4 percent viewed him unfavorably.  

Democrats' opinions of the chief justice have gone the other way. Fifty-four percent of Democrats view Roberts favorably, while 19 percent have an unfavorable view — a 19-point improvement since 2005. The poll represents the latest evidence of Republican bitterness toward Roberts, who joined the four liberal justices on the high court last month in upholding the Affordable Care Act.

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Three more men have told police that they were sexually abused by former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky in the 1970s and 1980s, Sara Ganim of the Harrisburg Patriot News reports.  The three men are the first to come forward and accuse Sandusky of abuse before the 1990s.  

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will be on hand for a pair of basketball games between the United States and Brazilian national teams on Monday, the White House confirmed over the weekend.  

The exhibition games, which will include both the men's and women's national teams and will be held at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., will serve as a tune-up of sorts for the squads as they prepare for the London Olympics.  

The top super PAC supporting presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney set a new high-water mark for fundraising in June, the Washington Post reports.

Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney super Pac, raised $20 million last month — a record haul for a super PAC.  That total dwarfs what Priorities USA, the top super PAC supporting President Barack Obama, raised in the same month. The $6 million raised in June was actually a new high for Priorities USA.