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Live coverage from CPAC 2015

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 vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan speaks Oct. 16, 2012, during a rally at Automated Conveyor Systems in Lynchburg, Va. (Associated Press)

Ryan warns of desperation attacks from Obama

With Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney making his final preparations Tuesday for his second debate showdown with President Obama, his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan took to the stump in Virginia, telling supporters that Mr. Obama can't run on his record and is relying on desperate attacks in hopes of winning a second term "by default." Published October 16, 2012

**FILE** Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks Oct. 13, 2012, in Portsmouth, Ohio. (Associated Press)

Romney, RNC set party fundraising record in September

Mitt Romney's financial team and the Republican National Committee set a new Republican record for monthly fundraising in a presidential race, announcing Monday that together they raised $170 million in September — putting Mr. Romney on firm financial footing heading into the final three weeks of the race for the White House. Published October 15, 2012

Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin participate in the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Pool-Rick Wilking)

Biden, Ryan go head to head, but they can’t see eye to eye in vice presidential debate

Looking to erase the memory of President Obama's widely panned debate performance from a week ago, Vice President Joseph R. Biden took the fight to his rival Paul Ryan on Thursday, accusing him of obfuscating Republicans' tax cut plans and calling GOP criticism of the administration's handling of last month's Libya terrorist attack "malarkey." Published October 11, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks Oct. 9, 2012, during a campaign rally in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. (Associated Press)

Obama tries to win back women voters, hits Romney on abortion

With President Obama losing his advantage among female voters, his campaign aides Wednesday resurrected attacks on Mitt Romney over abortion and women's rights, claiming the Republican nominee is hiding his true positions. Published October 10, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks Oct. 10, 2012, during a town hall meeting at Ariel Corporation in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. (Associated Press)

Romney sidesteps questions on detaining U.S. citizens

Mitt Romney sidestepped questions Wednesday about whether he would have signed the National Defense Authorization Act that authorizes the indefinite detention of terror suspects, including American citizens, saying he didn't have enough information on the law. Published October 10, 2012

Romney to build on debate boost

An energized Mitt Romney is looking to build on his new campaign momentum in the country’s swing states, including in Ohio, where he is deploying some of his heaviest political artillery and personalizing his message in his hunt for undecided voters. Published October 9, 2012

‘Sesame Street’ firm calls on Obama to pull ‘Big Bird’ ad

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit company that owns Big Bird and the rest of the “Sesame Street” gang, asked the Obama campaign Tuesday to pull down political ads featuring the iconic bird and attacking Mitt Romney for saying he would end taxpayer funding for PBS. Published October 9, 2012

**FILE** A protester dressed as Big Bird stands Oct. 6, 2012, outside of the amphitheater in Apopka Fla., where Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney prepares to speak during a campaign rally. (Associated Press)

Feathers fly as candidates fight over Big Bird

Mitt Romney flipped President Obama's re-election team the proverbial bird on Tuesday, saying the Democrats' attempts to make a big issue over Mr. Romney's opposition to federal subsidies for Big Bird reflect their misguided priorities. Published October 9, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, campaign at Tradition Town Square in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney 
to slam 
Obama 
on warfare

Mitt Romney on Monday will accuse the Obama administration of fundamentally misunderstanding the threat of radical Islam, using a major foreign-policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute to say President Obama is rejecting six decades of bipartisan consensus by not flexing more U.S. muscle on the world stage. Published October 8, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shakes hands Oct. 8, 2012, during a campaign rally in Newport News, Va. (Associated Press)

Romney lays out policies for foes and friends of America

Mitt Romney vowed Monday to "recommit" the United States to a two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians, to put "clear conditions" on U.S. assistance to Egypt and to ensure Syrian opponents get access to needed weapons as he sought to define key foreign policy differences with President Obama. Published October 8, 2012

** FILE ** Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama speak during the first presidential debate, at the University of Denver on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Goldman/Eric Gay)

Obama launches pre-emptive strike ahead of Romney's foreign policy speech

President Obama's re-election campaign on Monday launched a pre-emptive strike ahead of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's planned foreign policy address, arguing that Mr. Romney has failed the the commander-in-chief test on the global stage — in part by staking out positions to the right of former President George W. Bush. Published October 8, 2012

** FILE ** David Axelrod

Obama camp looking for answers in aftermath

Mitt Romney's debate performance continued to wear well Thursday as President Obama's backers searched for answers to what went wrong with their candidate, who voters and pundits alike said lacked the magic that captivated the country in 2008. Published October 4, 2012

The stage is seen before a presidential debate at the University of Denver Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, in Denver. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will hold their first debate Wednesday. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Debates not last word on presidential race

The presidential debates may be the biggest news events between now and Election Day, but with two monthly jobs reports, the final deficit tally and several other end-of-the-fiscal-year numbers due, the calendar is littered with other potential political land mines. Published October 3, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigns at Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney won't deport illegal immigrants with temporary legal status

Moving to soften his immigration stance ever so slightly, Mitt Romney said this week he will not immediately deport the illegal immigrants granted tentative legal status by President Obama — and the Republican nominee also set a soft deadline for getting a broader immigration bill done in 18 months. Published October 2, 2012

** FILE ** In 1980: President Carter and Republican candidate Ronald Reagan shake hands after debating in Cleveland. (Associated Press)

Presidential debate ritual is great equalizer for incumbent, challenger

Call it the built-in gravitas gap: President Obama flies the country in a grand 747, cruises in plush limousines adorned with American flags, and speaks from the White House Rose Garden, while his campaign opponent, Mitt Romney, flies in a smaller MD-83 passenger jet, rides in nondescript SUVs and makes speeches at factories and strip malls. Published October 2, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shakes hands during a Sept. 28, 2012, rally at Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Wayne, Pa. (Associated Press)

Romney insists Pa. in play in November

Mitt Romney courted military cadets and top-dollar donors on Friday as he declared Pennsylvania up for grabs in the November election — a state where the campaign is not running television ads and where poll numbers suggest that Friday's pit stop appeared to be more about raising the money needed to compete in more hotly-contested battleground states. Published September 28, 2012

President Obama has an uphill battle convincing military voters that they should re-elect him as commander in chief. (Associated Press)

Obama, Romney move battle to Virginia for military votes

President Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney each trolled for military votes Thursday in the critical swing state of Virginia, and although polls show Mr. Obama with a slight edge overall in the state, he is having trouble convincing veterans that he should remain their commander in chief. Published September 27, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks Sept. 25, 2012, during a campaign rally in Vandalia, Ohio. (Associated Press)

Romney, Obama locked in a duel for Ohio’s working-class voters

Scrambling to regain his footing in the Buckeye State, Mitt Romney enlisted the help Wednesday of a golf legend and a television star with the sort of blue-collar credentials that could resonate with the state's working-class voters. President Obama, meanwhile, made his own Ohio pitch to college crowds at Bowling Green and Kent State. Published September 26, 2012