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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

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney (right) talks to reporters on Monday, April 23, 2012, as he is joined by Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, during a news conference before a town-hall-style meeting in Aston, Pa. (Associated Press)

Romney, Rubio stump in Pennsylvania

Mitt Romney, campaigning Monday with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, told Pennsylvania supporters that while Tuesday's Republican primary is important, next fall's showdown with President Obama is the real battle. Published April 23, 2012

Campaign 2012's silly season in full swing

Dogs on roofs, dogs on the menu, wars on women, bureaucrats behaving badly — with the drama largely drained from the Republican nominating race and not much on the schedule until August, the campaign's silly season has begun in earnest. Published April 22, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign stop in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, April 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Romney camp makes pitch for Hispanic vote

Mitt Romney's campaign said Friday that the nation's Hispanics are worse off today than they were before President Obama took office — as the former Massachusetts governor tries to improve his image with what it shaping up as a key electoral voting bloc. Published April 20, 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican presidential candidate, gives the thumbs-up to supporters at a campaign stop in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday. Mr. Romney is in demand on the campaign trail as candidates for the Senate and House seek his help on the stump. (Associated Press)

Romney in demand with GOP hopefuls on the stump

While some Democrats have made it clear that they would rather not be seen with President Obama on the campaign trail this fall, likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney doesn't appear to face the same problem. Published April 18, 2012

GOP chief: Economy key to winning Hispanic vote

The chairman of the Republican National Committee said Monday that the key to winning over Hispanic voters this year is to convince them that President Obama has failed to strengthen their economic prospects — not by pandering to them with promises of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Published April 16, 2012

Democrats are going after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney by saying he is hiding the true political agenda he would pursue if elected president. They say he been all over the map on the issues and has exhibited a "penchant for secrecy." (Associated Press)

Democrats say Romney the one who hides

After accusing President Obama of keeping his real second-term agenda out of the public eye, Mitt Romney found himself on the receiving end of a similar line of attack from Democrats, who said the former Massachusetts governor is the one hiding his true political colors. Published April 16, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to a crowd April 11, 2012, during a campaign event in Warwick, R.I. (Associated Press)

Romney targets Obama in NRA speech

Mitt Romney spoke to thousands of gun owners Friday, but the former Massachusetts governor's remarks were clearly aimed at a broader audience and offered an early glimpse at how the Republican presidential front-runner plans to take on President Obama. Published April 13, 2012

Mitt Romney picked up endorsements Thursday from two pro-life groups - the Susan B. Anthony List, which initially backed Rick Santorum, and National Right-to-Life - that looked past the presumptive GOP candidate's earlier pro-choice stand. (Associated Press)

Two pro-life groups endorse Romney

GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney got back-to-back endorsements from prominent pro-life groups Thursday, signaling that anti-abortion forces will overlook his previous pro-choice positions in their shared desire to defeat President Obama in the general election. Published April 12, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks in Tunkhannock, Pa., on Thursday, April 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

NRA seeking 'reassurance' from Romney

When Mitt Romney speaks to the National Rifle Association on Friday it will bring into focus a major difference between him and President Obama: One is counting on Second Amendment voters to show up at the polls, while the other has sidestepped gun-related issues in the run-up to the election. Published April 12, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is interviewed by Martha MacCallum, co-anchor of "America's Newsroom" on the Fox News Channel in New York, Wednesday, April 11, 2012. On Tuesday, Romney made clear that he would assault Obama's character as well, saying the president is not inept at economic policy, but he actively dislikes business. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Social conservatives looking for a reason to love Romney

Social conservatives who backed Rick Santorum's presidential campaign said his supporters will get behind Mitt Romney, but warned that the presumptive Republican nominee still has a lot more to do if he wants those activists to man phone banks and knock on doors in the drive to win in November. Published April 11, 2012

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign stop at R.C. Fabricators on Tuesday in Wilmington, Del., where he met with a group of female business owners. R.C. Fabricators designs and erects structural steel. (Associated Press)

It's game on, with Obama as Romney's rival

The general-election campaign unofficially kicked off Tuesday with Mitt Romney continuing to sharpen his criticism of President Obama, saying a second term for the incumbent would be dangerous because he is not being upfront about the policies he plans to pursue. Published April 10, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum sits April 4, 2012, in a booth at Bob's Diner in Carnegie, Pa. (Associated Press)

For Santorum, Pennsylvania is a double-edged sword

Rick Santorum is in a difficult place politically in his home state of Pennsylvania, where he hopes to revive his flagging presidential bid. A win for the state's former two-term senator in the April 24 primary wouldn't shock the world, while a loss to rival Mitt Romney could stick a fork in his White House hopes. Published April 5, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, shakes hands with a patron at Bob's Diner in Carnegie, Pa., on Wednesday, April 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Santorum plans on winning home state of Pennsylvania

Despite another disappointing primary night this week, Rick Santorum wants to remind Mitt Romney and GOP leaders that the presidential nomination is not sewn up and that this month's Pennsylvania primary is his campaign's make-or-break contest. Published April 4, 2012

Corey Essler, a volunteer for former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a Republican presidential candidate, holds up a sign to woo voters in Menasha, Wis., on Monday. "You have the opportunity to shock the world," Mr. Santorum said. (Associated Press)

Romney seeks sweep to knock out Santorum

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney delivered his closing argument to Wisconsin voters as he looked to land a knockout blow against Rick Santorum's presidential dreams by sweeping the three nomination contests Tuesday. Published April 2, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks April 1, 2012, to a crowd at a town-hall style campaign event in Madison, Wis. (Associated Press)

As Romney nears nod, GOP base nods off

Pledges of support from powerful Republicans last week may have edged Mitt Romney closer to the GOP presidential nomination, but the former Massachusetts governor still struggles to fire the imaginations of most in his party — even the coveted endorsements from former President George H.W. Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida seemed underwhelming in tone. Published April 1, 2012

House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, speaks March 29, 2012, during a news conference on Capitol Hill after Republicans pushed an election-year, $3.5 trillion budget through the House. (Associated Press)

Ryan endorses Romney for GOP nomination

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan endorsed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Friday, landing the former Massachusetts governor another high-profile supporter as the party starts to rally behind him in hopes of ending the bloody nomination race. Published March 30, 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican presidential candidate, meets with former President George H.W. Bush in Houston on Thursday to receive his endorsement. Mr. Bush, who talked with the hopeful in his office, called Mr. Romney a "good man" who would "make a great president." (Associated Press)

George H.W. Bush, Marco Rubio endorse Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney collected endorsements from an ex-president and one of the GOP's biggest up-and-coming stars this week as powerhouse Republicans said the race for the party's nomination is essentially over and urged voters to get behind the former Massachusetts governor. Published March 29, 2012

Rubio

Rubio backs Romney's presidential bid

Sen. Marco Rubio threw his support behind Mitt Romney's presidential campaign on Wednesday and pushed back against the other candidates' plans to fight until the national convention this summer - handing the former Massachusetts governor a major endorsement from one of the stars of the conservative movement. Published March 28, 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (right), front-runner for the GOP presidential nod, seen here Dec. 1 with former President George H.W. Bush in Houston, will get Mr. Bush's formal endorsement Thursday.  (Associated Press)

Romney rivals seen 'tilting at windmills' in convention ploy

A sneak attack at the convention, the plan that Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are counting on to win the Republican presidential nomination, is far-fetched in the eyes of state party officials who say that Mitt Romney will be nominated even if he goes into the convention with only a plurality of delegates. Published March 28, 2012

Mitt Romney has said he won't abandon the conservative positions he took in the Republican primaries, including those on illegal immigration. (Associated Press)

Romney faces hurdle gaining Hispanic votes

GOP front-runner Mitt Romney's pledge to stick to the positions he has taken on the primary trail could hurt him in a general election matchup with President Obama, particularly with Hispanic voters over the question of immigration. Published March 27, 2012