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Seth McLaughlin

Seth McLaughlin, a reporter on the Politics Desk, can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SethMcLaughlin1

Articles by Seth McLaughlin

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigns Aug. 8, 2012, at Central Campus High School in Des Moines, Iowa. (Associated Press)

Veteran of 1990s welfare shift faults both sides in current clash

A former senior House GOP aide who helped write the landmark welfare-to-work laws in the 1990s challenged Mitt Romney's assertion that President Obama's wants to weaken work requirements for welfare recipients — but he also questioned whether the White House is overstepping its authority by giving states the chance to experiment with their welfare programs. Published August 8, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney thanks Warren Young, chief executive officer at Acme Industries, as he campaigns in Elk Grove Village, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2012. (Associated Press)

Romney: Obama undermining welfare reform

Republican challenger Mitt Romney said Tuesday that President Obama is "encouraging a culture of dependency" by gutting the work requirement in the landmark federal welfare reform law, and his campaign went a step further, saying the White House overstepped its legal authority last month to issue waivers of the law to the states. Published August 7, 2012

Romney ad blitz focuses on economic trust

Mitt Romney and his presidential campaign are invading living rooms in key states across the country through a barrage of television ads that aim to convince voters that their economic well-being hinges on a change in the White House. Published August 6, 2012

President Obama told a crowd Wednesday in Mansfield, Ohio, that the tax cut Republican Mitt Romney proposes would come at the expense of the middle class. (Associated Press)

Obama claim Romney tax cut would hurt middle class disputed

Seizing on a new report that challenges Mitt Romney's tax-cut claims, President Obama said Wednesday that the presumptive Republican nominee is trying to make middle-class families pay more "so that people like him" pay less. Published August 1, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney meets Polish veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as he visits the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney’s trip a bumpy ride

Under mounting pressure to be more open on foreign policy issues, Mitt Romney tried to do just that during his six-day trip to visit three American allies — but repeatedly found himself having to backtrack on the things he said. Published July 31, 2012

** FILE ** Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, and his wife, Ann, arrive in Gdansk, Poland, on Monday, July 30, 2012. (Associated Press)

Romney endures tough road trip

On a trip Mitt Romney hoped would impress America's allies, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee managed to anger the nation's potential adversaries — particularly Palestinian leaders, who felt Mr. Romney's comments during his trip to Israel smacked of racism. Published July 30, 2012

** FILE ** Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

McDonnell targets defense spending, but opposes automatic cuts

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says that defense spending must be reined in if Congress is serious about getting the nation's fiscal house in order but opposes the $500 billion in automatic defense cuts under last year's debt deal, warning they would weaken national security, kill jobs and devastate his state's defense industry. Published July 29, 2012

Romney uses trip to stress foreign policy

Taking a brief turn from the domestic issues that have dominated the campaign, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney kicks off a three-nation overseas trip Thursday that gives him the chance to showcase his differences with President Obama on the foreign policy front and to convince voters that he has the political chops to be a major world player. Published July 25, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses the 113th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nev., on July 24, 2012. (Associated Press)

Romney slams security leaks, blames White House

Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney accused the White House of leaking classified information to the press for political gain and called for a special counsel to carry out a "full and prompt investigation" into who is responsible for dishing out the national security goods. Published July 24, 2012

Johnson to voters: Give Libertarian a chance

Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson said Monday that he won't release his tax returns, joining his voice to that of presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, who has declined to release more than the two most recent years. Published July 23, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks to the annual meeting of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Houston on Wednesday, July 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Campaigns trade charges of lying; Romney camp seeks apology

President Obama's campaign said Wednesday that Mitt Romney either lied to voters or to federal regulators about how long he ran his company, while the GOP candidate's team said the "felony" accusation was so over-the-top that the president should apologize for his aides' behavior; voters were left to sort it all out. Published July 12, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks to the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People on Wednesday, July 11, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

NAACP is hard sell for Romney

Trying to cut into President Obama's overwhelming lead among black voters, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney told the nation's leading African-American civil rights group that blacks have suffered more than most on the president's watch and he plans to fight for their vote. Published July 11, 2012

President Obama shares a laugh July 10, 2012, with Jason and Ali McLaughlin and their son, Cooper, while visiting their home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Associated Press)

Rich must pay more taxes, Obama tells voters

A day after demanding Washington lawmakers extend middle-class tax cuts while raising taxes on the wealthy, President Obama took his case directly to voters Tuesday, traveling to Iowa to argue that the rich should pay higher taxes in order to cut the deficit and fund his spending priorities. Published July 10, 2012

**FILE** Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigns June 19, 2012, in Holland, Mich. (Associated Press)

Romney, RNC post massive June cash haul

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee raised $35 million more than President Obama and his Democratic allies last month, winning their second month in a row. Published July 9, 2012

President Obama speaks Thursday at the Wolcott House Museum Complex in Maumee, Ohio, as part of a two-day "Betting on America" bus tour across Ohio and Pennsylvania. Mr. Obama flipped counties across the Rust Belt en route to winning the 2008 presidential election. (Associated Press)

Obama struggles to shine again in Rust Belt

As President Obama is in the middle of a two-day "Betting on America" bus tour across Ohio and Pennsylvania, political analysts said he will have to reassemble the "hope and change" demographic coalition of 2008 that relied on a high turnout of youths and blacks, and winning a larger-than-usual percentage of Hispanics and whites. By most accounts, that will be easier said than done. Published July 5, 2012

With the Capitol in the background, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks about the Supreme Court's health care ruling, Thursday, June 28, 2012, in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

GOP waits for Romney to pick 'tax' or 'penalty'

A semantic dispute over what defines "a tax" or "a penalty" has pushed Mitt Romney's presidential campaign deeply off message as he struggles for the right response to last week's Supreme Court ruling upholding the health care law. Published July 3, 2012

With the U.S. Capitol in the background, Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks about the Supreme Court's health care ruling on June 28, 2012. (Associated Press)

Romney: To kill health law, Obama must go

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Thursday that the Supreme Court ruling upholding President Obama's health care law means that the only way now to remove the law is to remove the president in the November election. Published June 28, 2012

** FILE ** GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has said, " If I am elected president, we are going to get rid of Obamacare and replace it with real reform." (Associated Press)

Health care decision will have great influence on campaign

On the eve of the Supreme Court's ruling on the constitutionality of President Obama's federal health care overhaul, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney tried to erase any doubt about what he plans to do with any parts of the law that might survive. Published June 27, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney signs autographs while campaigning Tuesday at Carter Machinery Company Inc., in Salem, Va. As he moves closer to official nomination, Mr. Romney is being pressed for more specifics on key issues such as immigration, health care and women's pay, as well as fixing the economy. (Associated Press)

Romney taking heat on amnesty question

The past two weeks have offered Mitt Romney numerous opportunities to clarify his stance on immigration — and every time the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has taken a pass. Published June 26, 2012