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Seth McLaughlin

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

Articles by Seth McLaughlin

On the campaign trail, presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney tells voters to look at his record as governor in Massachusetts, where he balanced the budget every year. (Associated Press)

Romney's initiatives: Miracles or gimmickry?

Facing a budget deficit of $3 billion when he took over as Massachusetts governor in 2003, Mitt Romney immediately instituted emergency spending cuts, raised fees on items such as birth certificates, gun licenses and boat registrations, and closed corporate tax breaks to solve the shortfall. Published June 10, 2012

Gov. Scott Walker greets prospective voters at the Rock County Dairy Breakfast in Evansville, Wis., on Saturday, in advance of Tuesday's recall vote. Some political analysts say the outcome of that vote could be a harbinger of how the state will go in November's presidential election. (Associated Press)

In Walker recall, road to White House runs through Wisconsin

National Republicans think that if Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker survives his recall election Tuesday, it will be much harder for President Obama to keep the state in the Democratic column in the November election. Published June 3, 2012

Mitt Romney campaigns at the shuttered Solyndra plant in Fremont, Calif., on Thursday. "It's a symbol not of success, but of failure," he said of the company lauded by President Obama that received $535 million in government-backed loan guarantees. (Associated Press)

Romney: Obama didn't risk much in Solyndra — taxpayers did

Standing outside the shuttered California headquarters of Solyndra on Thursday, Mitt Romney said President Obama must answer to voters for the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars he gambled on the politically connected solar technology company, which went belly-up in 2011. Published May 31, 2012

David Axelrod, a strategist for President Obama, addresses a crowd May 31, 2012, in front of the Statehouse in Boston. Axelrod criticized former Massachusetts Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's record as governor of the state during his remarks. (Associated Press)

Presidential camps skirmish in Romney's Bay State backyard

The Obama campaign marched into Mitt Romney's old political backyard of Massachusetts on Thursday to make the case that the GOP nominee's economic approach didn't work during his one-term as governor and won't work as president. Published May 31, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks Tuesday in Craig, Colo., where he lambasted President Obama for his record on job creation and a perceived hostility toward business. (Associated Press)

As Texas ensures GOP nod, Romney campaign takes shape

After clinching the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday in Texas, Mitt Romney has emerged from a bloody primary slog running neck-and-neck with President Obama — putting him in the exact same position as the last two Republicans to lead their party into the general election. Published May 29, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Salina Beattie display work they did together in a sixth grade language arts class during Mr. Romney's visit to Universal Bluford Charter School in West Philadelphia, Pa. His statement that "just getting smaller classrooms didn't seem to be the key" to improving education was challenged. (Associated Press)

Romney downplays value of small class size

Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney's plans for reshaping K-12 education has injected an old debate into the presidential race: Do smaller classroom sizes produce better students? Published May 24, 2012

Former President Bill Clinton (AP photo)

In campaign twist, Romney camp plays Clinton card against Obama

An unlikely battle for Bubba's legacy has broken out in the presidential race, with GOP candidate Mitt Romney praising Bill Clinton's presidency as a bank-shot way to argue that President Obama has "discarded" his Democratic predecessor's wisdom about the end of big government. Published May 24, 2012

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah got a boost in his bid for a seventh term from Sarah Palin, who endorsed the "lifelong conservative" in her SarahPac blog. (Associated Press)

Tea-party target Hatch gets Palin's endorsement

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed Utah Sen. Orrin G. Hatch's re-election bid Wednesday, calling the onetime tea-party target a "lifelong conservative" who has fought for a balanced-budget amendment and for conservative Supreme Court justices. Published May 23, 2012

** FILE ** President Obama cited a respect for states' rights in connection with his "evolution" toward supporting gay marriage. (Associated Press)

Obama, Romney use states' rights as they see fit

The 10th Amendment, the amendment supposedly reserving for the states all powers not explicitly granted to the federal government, gets a lot of rhetorical love on the campaign trail. Published May 20, 2012

Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, speaks at the University of California at Berkeley on Thursday, April 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Paul aide: Don't look for a Romney endorsement

Ron Paul's campaign conceded Tuesday he won't win enough delegates to be Republicans' presidential nominee, but says he will continue to try to win supporters to influence the GOP's platform and rules at the August convention. Published May 15, 2012

** FILE ** In this May 8, 2012, file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks in Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

Ex-presidents factor into Romney's campaign

Mitt Romney, campaigning in battleground state Iowa on Tuesday, scored a long-awaited — if not exactly surprising — endorsement in Washington from the last Republican occupant of the White House. Published May 15, 2012

Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, delivers the commencement address at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., on Saturday. (Associated Press)

Gay marriage gives Romney chance to fire up base

While many Republicans consider the sudden emergence of gay marriage as an issue in the 2012 presidential campaign an unhelpful distraction, social conservatives Sunday insisted the Obama administration has given presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney an opportunity. Published May 13, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, prays before his commencement address at the Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va, Saturday, May 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Romney backs traditional marriage at Liberty University

Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney assured the thousands of conservative Christians gathered for the graduation ceremony at Liberty University, the school founded by evangelical icon Jerry Falwell, that he stands with them on traditional marriage. Published May 12, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, talks with chief strategist Stuart Stevens on his campaign bus as they drive from Naples, Fla., to Hialeah, Fla., Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney's team starts to look like Bush's

Mitt Romney's corps of advisers is heavily salted with figures who surrounded President George W. Bush as he watched over massive increases in federal spending, the creation of more government programs and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the nation-building efforts that followed. Published May 10, 2012

President Obama speaks at the State University of New York's Nano-Tech complex in Albany, N.Y., on Tuesday, May 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Daily Gazette, Patrick Dodson)

Obama denies presiding over 'bloated government'

After presiding over three consecutive years of trillion-dollar deficits, President Obama told an audience in New York on Tuesday not to believe critics who accuse him of running a "bloated government." Published May 8, 2012

Prospective Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney campaigns Tuesday in Lansing, Mich. The former Massachusetts governor has tried to reach out to Hispanics with an economic message, arguing that they have lost 300,000 jobs on the Obama administration's watch. (Associated Press)

'Still deciding' does damage to Romney's Hispanic reach

The difficulties Mitt Romney faces in wooing Hispanic voters this year were underscored Tuesday when the Republicans' top Hispanic outreach official said the former Massachusetts governor is "still deciding" his position on immigration. Published May 8, 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, speaks at a town-hall-style meeting in Euclid, Ohio, on Monday, May 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

GOP Hispanic outreach hits snag

Republicans underscored their difficulties in wooing Latino voters in this year's elections on Tuesday when the party's top Hispanic outreach official said it was unclear what likely presidential nominee Mitt Romney's stance would be on the critical issue of immigration. Published May 8, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks May 7, 2012, at a town hall style meeting in Euclid, Ohio. (Associated Press)

Romney hits at Obama on jobs

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Monday that the Obama administration is misleading the public into thinking that the dip in the national unemployment rate proves the Democrat's economic policies are working. Published May 7, 2012

** FILE ** In this Feb. 22, 2012, photo Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, talks with fellow candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, after a presidential debate in Arizona. On Monday night, May 7, 2012, Santorum endorsed Romney, saying "above all else" they agree that Obama must be defeated. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Romney wins Santorum endorsement

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum endorsed Mitt Romney for president Monday night in an email to supporters, assuring them that he's convinced the former Massachusetts governor with fight for the issues important to social conservatives, tea party members and working families. Published May 7, 2012