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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

** FILE ** Former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin addresses the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference in National Harbor, Md., Saturday, March 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Palin dings Obama, calls for conservative reinforcements in Washington

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called on conservatives Saturday to strengthen their limited government ranks in the midterm election - even if it means replacing GOP lawmakers that have been reluctant to take a more aggressive stance against the Obama administration. Published March 8, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks at the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference in National Harbor, Md., Friday, March 7, 2014. Friday marks the second day of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, which brings together prospective presidential candidates, conservative opinion leaders and tea party activists from coast to coast. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Rand Paul urges conservatives to fight with him for liberty

Sen. Rand Paul urged the thousands that turned out for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to imagine electing a "friend of liberty" to the White House who will defend the Constitution and push back against a federal government that is trampling over their individual rights. Published March 7, 2014

Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times

Despite GOP push on immigration, doubts rampant

Despite a year of pressure from top Republican leaders saying it's politically necessary for the party to pass an immigration bill, rank-and-file conservatives at CPAC are unconvinced, saying they want their party focus to be on border security rather than working with Democrats to legalize illegal immigrants. Published March 6, 2014

At a Crossroads: Sen. Ted Cruz (left) of Texas, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (center) and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida are among the conference speakers grappling with the question of how to govern while sticking to conservative principles. (Associated Press)

GOP optimism, agenda emerge at CPAC

Gov. Chris Christie fired up the crowd at CPAC Thursday with his call for Republicans to present a positive agenda, while Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio laid out the outlines of what that kind of agenda could look like — and Rep. Paul Ryan sounded like a man who's seriously thinking about running for the White House. Published March 6, 2014

**FILE** Rep. Ed Royce, California Republican (Associated Press)

Rep. Ed Royce: Way to weaken Putin is to mess with his money

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said Wednesday that a couple keys to ending the crisis in Ukraine is to freeze the assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin's deep-pocketed pals and open up LNG exports to Europe. Published March 5, 2014

FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2014 file photo, House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. listens on Capitol Hill in Washington. Striving for unity among Democrats rather than compromise with Republicans, President Barack Obama unveils an election-year budget on Tuesday that drops cuts to Social Security and seeks new money for infrastructure, education and job training. Congress will likely approve a smaller amount based on last year's budget deal. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Obama's budget doesn't bode well for compromise: Rep. Paul Ryan

The chairman of the House Budget Committee says he is concerned that President Obama's budget blueprint is going to lead to more legislative gridlock on Capitol Hill over spending, entitlement programs and the national debt. Published March 5, 2014

** FILE ** President Barack Obama laughs while walking with senior adviser David Axelrod following an event at the Costa Mesa Town Hall at OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, Calif., March 18, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Axelrod bashes Sen. Graham for tying Ukraine to Benghazi

A former senior advisor to President Obama said Wednesday that South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham's attempt to draw a link between the crisis in Ukraine and the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya show that he is worried about his GOP primary race back home. Published March 5, 2014

**FILE** House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. gets a kiss from House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio after he was re-elected as House Speaker as the 113th Congress began, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Dems hold edge on issues, but not on generic ballot: poll

A new poll shows Democrats are more trusted on the issues than their Republican counterparts, but that the parties are running neck-and-neck on generic ballots ahead of the 2014 midterm elections. Published March 4, 2014

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, March 3, 2014. The U.S. is currently brokering peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians while trying to manage Israel’s suspicions about President Obama’s pursuit of a nuclear accord with Iran.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Radio ad attacks McConnell over same-sex marriage ruling

The Senate Conservatives Fund released a radio ad Tuesday dinging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for supporting a "liberal" federal judge who recently ruled that Kentucky has to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Published March 4, 2014

**FILE** Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, questions former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, President Obama's choice to lead the Pentagon, during his confirmation hearing before the committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Mike Lee endorses Ben Sasse in Nebraska GOP Senate primary

Sen. Mike Lee is endorsing Ben Sasse in the Nebraska Senate GOP primary contest, giving the president of Midland University the support of another high-profile conservative and tea party favorite in the tight Republican race. Published March 4, 2014

Sen. Thad Cochran (left) of Mississippi appears to be the only longtime Republican officeholder to face a tough challenge in his primary battle for re-election this year. State Sen. Chris McDaniel also has status among voters by having a high political post. (Associated Press)

Tea party loses some steam in GOP races

Tea party challenges to Republican senators are fizzling across the country, leaving Mississippi as the only state where a longtime Republican officeholder is seriously endangered by a primary threat from his right. Published March 3, 2014

House Speaker John A. Boehner, who once embraced the tea party and was a regular at CPAC, is now an outsider with no invitation to the event. (Associated Press)

Boehner gets official snub by CPAC

House Speaker John A. Boehner, who has tangled repeatedly with the right wing of the Republican Party, has not been invited to this week's Conservative Political Action Conference. Published March 3, 2014

In this Jan. 24, 2014, photo, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus is seen at the RNC winter meeting in Washington. The dueling faces of a conflicted political party were on display for all to see at the just-concluded RNC meeting. The reminder of the divisions comes a year after Priebus published a report aimed at modernizing the party and boosting its ranks, and as Republicans eye their best chance at taking control of both houses of Congress since 2002. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

RNC considers 2016 national convention sites

The Republican National Committee began the process Monday of listening to the sales pitches from the cities vying to host the 2016 GOP national convention, where the party's standard-bearer will be nominated. Published March 3, 2014