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David Taintor

David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He's a native of Minnesota. Reach him at taintor@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by David

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's re-election campaign has released its first TV ad of the cycle. The ad, released on Wednesday and titled "Jersey Proud," talks up the Republican governor's bipartisan bonafides.

Christie works with Democrats and Republicans, a narrator in the ad says, and has proved that "as long as you stick to your principles, compromise isn't a dirty word." Finally, the ad concludes, "the most important thing (Christie) did has little to do with numbers, statistics or even politics: he made us proud to say we're from New Jersey."

According to Politico, the ad will cost the Christie campaign $1.2 million. The ad is set to run through May 12 in New York and Philadelphia media markets. 

Watch the ad:

Correction: This post originally reported that the ad would cost the Christie campaign $1.5 million. 

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Jon Stewart on Monday had more than a little fun with the ricin-tainted letters case in Mississippi, a story complete with an Elvis impersonator being cleared of charges and subsequently singing country on cable news and a karate instructor who is also reportedly a Wayne Newton impersonator.

"The latest developments in the ricin investigation can be summed up with what is possibly my favorite sentence ever uttered in relation to a possible deadly terrorist incident," Stewart said, referring to an ABC story. "Authorities have switched their focus from the Elvis impersonator to a karate instructor," the story reported.

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The New York Times pushed back on Tuesday against New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's accusation that the paper is racially biased in its coverage of violence. 

During a speech on Tuesday at city police headquarters, Bloomberg levied criticism against the Times for denouncing the city's stop-and-frisk program but not reporting on the recent murder of a young black man from the Bronx, according to the New York Post.

Bloomberg told the story of Alphonza Bryant, a 17-year-old Bronx resident who was shot and killed last week. Then the mayor pointed his criticism at civil liberties groups and the New York Times. 

"He was just a victim of too many guns on our streets," Bloomberg said. "But after his murder there was no outrage from the Center for Constitutional Rights or the NYCLU. There was not even a mention of his murder in our papers, our paper of record, the New York Times. 'All the news that's fit to print' did not include the murder of 17-year-old Alphonza Bryant. Do you think that if a white, 17-year-old prep student from Manhattan had been murdered, the Times would have ignored it? Me neither."

A spokeswoman for Times called Bloomberg's claim of bias "absurd."

"Mayor Bloomberg is trying to deflect criticism of the City’s stop-and-frisk practice by accusing The New York Times of bias," said Danielle Rhoades Ha, the Times' communications director, in a written statement. "Among those critical of the practice is The New York Times editorial board, which is separate from the news side of the newspaper. The Times aggressively covers violence in the city's neighborhoods, and to select one murder as evidence to the contrary is disingenuous. His claim of racial bias is absurd.”

The New York Daily News covered the shooting in an article published on April 23. And Capital New York pointed out that Times columnist Joe Nocera mentioned the shooting in a blog post. The post linked to the Daily News' report on the shooting, which a Bloomberg adviser wrote on Twitter "doesn't exactly cut it."

See video of Bloomberg's remarks over at New York magazine

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Sen. Rand Paul has endorsed former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) in the state's special congressional election, USA Today reported on Tuesday.

"More than anything, Washington needs strong and consistent voices for fiscal responsibility and liberty," Paul said in a statement. "Mark has proven during his time in office that watching out for taxpayers and holding the line on spending are his top priorities."

The tea party group FreedomWorks on Tuesday also endorsed Sanford. And according to USA Today, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Rand's father, endorsed the former governor last week. 

Sanford and his opponent, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, met for a debate on Tuesday, which got personal when Colbert Busch called out Sanford for his 2009 affair.

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After wrapping up a press conference on Tuesday at the White House, President Obama returned to the podium to praise veteran NBA player Jason Collins' decision to come out as gay

"I had a chance to talk to him yesterday. He seems like a terrific young man. I told him I couldn't be prouder," Obama said, according to a rush transcript. 

Obama added: "One of the extraordinary measures of progress that we've seen in this country has been the recognition that the LGBT community deserves full equality, not just partial equality, not just tolerance, but a recognition that they're fully part of the American family. And given the importance of sports in our society, for an individual who's excelled at the highest levels in one of the major sports to say, 'This is who I am, I'm proud of it. I'm still a great competitor. I'm still 7 feet tall and can bang with Shaq and deliver a hard foul.' And you know, for, I think, a lot of young people out there who are gay or lesbian who are struggling with these issues, to see a role model like that who is unafraid, I think this is a great thing. This is just one more step in this ongoing recognition that we treat everybody fairly and everybody's part of a family and we judge people on the basis of their character and performance and not their sexual orientation. I'm very proud of him."

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President Obama on Tuesday pledged to renew efforts to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, asserting that the detention facility "needs to be closed."

"I'm going to go back at this," Obama said at a White House press conference, according to a rush transcript. "I've asked my team to review everything that's being done in Guantanamo, everything we can do administratively and I'm going to re-engage with Congress to try to make the case that this is not something that's in the best interest of the American people."

Obama added that the current system at Guantanamo is unsustainable. "The notion we're going to keep over a hundred individuals in a no-man's land indefinitely, even at a time when we have wound down the war in Iraq, we are winding down the war in Afghanistan, we have kept the pressure on these transnational terrorist networks, when we have transferred detention authorities to Afghanistan. The idea we would still maintain, forever, a group of individuals who have been not been tried, that is contrary to who we are and our interests and it needs to stop."

A hunger strike has gripped Guantanamo in recent weeks, leading to clashes with guards. According to The Guardian, 100 detainees are on hunger strike. Twenty-one of those inmates are being force-fed. "I don't want these individuals to die," Obama said of the hunger strike there. 

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President Obama on Tuesday criticized the deal reached by Congress to ease air traffic control furloughs imposed by budget sequestration. 

"The fact that Congress responded to the short-term problem of flight delays by giving us the option of shifting money that's designed to repair and improve airports over the long term to fix the short-term problem, that's not a solution," Obama said at a White House press conference, according to a rush transcript.

President Obama on Tuesday commended Russia's cooperation with the U.S. since the Boston Marathon bombing. Russia had asked U.S. authorities to investigate whether bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev had ties to extremist groups. 

"The Russians have been very cooperative with us since the Boston bombing," Obama said at a White House press conference, according to a rush transcript. "You know, obviously, old habits die hard. There's still suspicions sometimes between our intelligence and law enforcement agencies, 10, 20, 30 years back to the Cold War. They're continually improving. I have spoken to President Putin directly. He's working with me to make sure those who are working this are cooperating with us fully."

During a news conference Tuesday at the White House, President Obama said the U.S. needs to tread carefully in its response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria. 

"It is important for us to do this in a prudent way," Obama said, according to a rush transcript. "What I've said to my team is we have to do everything we can to investigate and establish with some certainty what exactly has happened in Syria, what is happening in Syria. We will use all the assets and resources that we have at our disposal, we will work with the neighboring countries and we have called on the united nations to investigate." 

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