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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 nominee Mitt Romney and his wife Ann take the stage Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012 in Jacksonville, Fla. (Associated Press/The Florida Times-Union, Bob Mack)

‘You didn’t build that’ was GOP’s spark plug

Within hours of President Obama's "You didn't build that" remark in July, Republicans sensed they had a campaign-defining moment, and the GOP moved quickly to ramp up the attacks that culminated in last week's convention, when the theme of speaker after speaker was, "Yes I did build it. Without the government." Published September 4, 2012

Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee, arrives at a campaign event at the Westlake Recreation Center in Westlake, Ohio, on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Ryan: Obama's record is worse than Carter's

Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee, channeled former President Ronald Reagan at a campaign stop in Ohio on Tuesday, telling crowds that voters are doing worse today than they were when President Obama entered office four years ago and when former President Jimmy Carter was in office. Published September 4, 2012

Secret Service agents stand guard as Republican presidential nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney walks to his car after services at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012 in Wolfeboro, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Romney preps for debate as Democrats convene

After a few whirlwind days that saw him collect the Republican presidential nomination and make a commander-in-chief-like trip to Louisiana to inspect storm damage, Mitt Romney stepped off the campaign trail Sunday to prepare for the upcoming presidential debates with Barack Obama. Published September 2, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a victory rally, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012, at Union Terminal in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Back on the stump in Ohio and Iowa, Romney and Obama trade jabs

Mitt Romney on Saturday aimed to keep his post-convention momentum going with a campaign stop in the battleground state of Ohio, while President Obama countered with the start of a campaign march through four swing states that he hopes will inject a jolt of energy into his re-election bid ahead of the Democratic National Convention next week in North Carolina. Published September 1, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, his wife Ann, center, and Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., right, talk with Sen. David Vitter, R-La., back to camera, during a tour of flooding caused by hurricane Isaac, Friday, Aug. 31, 2012, in Jean Lafitte, La. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Romney changes schedule, visits Louisiana storm damage

Fresh off accepting the GOP presidential nod, Mitt Romney took on more of a presidential posture Friday, reworking his schedule so he could fly to Louisiana to survey the damage from Isaac — beating President Obama to the punch. Published August 31, 2012

Reagan

Romney to turn to Reagan playbook for stretch run

Carrying a post-convention glow from his coronation as the Republican Party's standard-bearer, Mitt Romney plans to take a page out of Ronald Reagan's playbook from the 1980 presidential campaign by urging voters to ask themselves: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" Published August 30, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks Aug. 29, 2012, at the American Legion National Convention in Indianapolis. (Associated Press)

Romney vows to reverse defense cuts, improve VA

Mitt Romney, speaking at the American Legion's nation convention, vowed to get veterans out of the unemployment lines and to reverse the defense cuts triggered by the ongoing spending standoff on Capitol Hill. Published August 29, 2012

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney checks the teleprompter and sound levels with staff members Aug. 30, 2012, at the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla. (Rod Lamkey, Jr./The Washington Times)

Romney erases 'Etch A Sketch' image

Mitt Romney's top strategist ignited a firestorm in March when he suggested that the candidate could "Etch A Sketch" away his campaign from the primaries — but Mr. Romney has yet to do a general-election wipe-down. Published August 29, 2012

Former Representative Artur Davis addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

For GOP, former Democrat Davis is key to independents' hearts

Four years after seconding Barack Obama's presidential nomination at the Democratic National Convention and four months after leaving the Democratic Party, former Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama re-entered the national spotlight Tuesday to vouch for Mitt Romney at the Republicans' convention in Tampa, Fla. Published August 28, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leaves Brewster Academy after working on convention preparations, Monday, Aug. 27, 2012, in Wolfeboro, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Romney preps for speech, frets about storm

Mitt Romney spent Monday polishing the speech he will deliver Thursday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., while running mate Paul Ryan received a hero's send-off from a gymnasium full of hometown supporters. Published August 27, 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, enters Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., for convention preparations on Sunday. (Associated Press)

Romney prepares for GOP convention

Mitt Romney hunkered down Sunday with top aides in New Hampshire, where he mapped out the final preparations for his appearance at the Republican National Convention and the final general-election sprint. Published August 26, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks as vice presidential running mate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., looks on during a campaign rally on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012 in Powell, Ohio. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Romney woos women with economic message

Looking to curry favor with female voters, Mitt Romney told supporters in Powell, Ohio Saturday that he wants women to be able to fulfill their dreams in the business world. Published August 25, 2012

Romney: Drill in refuge, federal land, offshore

Mitt Romney said Thursday he would free up states to explore for gas and oil on federal lands inside their borders as part of a broader energy push that would put North America on track to be energy-independent by 2020, the end of his hypothetical second term in office. Published August 23, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks Aug. 22, 2012, during a campaign stop at LeClaire Manufacturing in Midland, Texas. (Associated Press)

Romney to unveil energy plan

Mitt Romney plans to announce at a campaign stop in New Mexico on Thursday that if elected he would allow states to explore for energy on federal lands within their borders as part of a large plan to put North America on course to be energy independent by 2020. Published August 22, 2012

Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, speaks at a campaign stop at LeClaire Manufacturing in Midland, Texas, on Wednesday. (Associated Press)

Tea party voters lack enthusiasm for Romney

Killing time before Mitt Romney's campaign rally in New Hampshire this week, GOP activist Paul Clark shared the story of how some tea party activists in the crowd had assured him that they would vote for the presumptive GOP nominee come Election Day. Published August 22, 2012

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan speaks Aug. 21, 2012, during a campaign rally at Beaver Steel in Carnegie, Pa. (Associated Press)

Ryan slams Obama plan as harmful to Medicare

For the first time since being named Mitt Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan journeyed to Pennsylvania, where he warned that President Obama's new health care law will force Medicare recipients to pay more for their coverage and make it harder for them to find hospitals and nursing homes that will let them in the door. Published August 21, 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, his running mate, attend a town hall at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., on Monday. The visit marked the first joint appearance for Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan in New Hampshire. (Associated Press)

Romney backs audit for Fed, vows
 to not raise taxes on middle class

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan, his running mate, joined forces Monday in New Hampshire to chastise President Obama for running a negative campaign and to push back against the Democrat's claim that they will raise taxes on middle-class families to help cover the cost of tax cuts for the wealthy. Published August 20, 2012

Romney’s defense of Medicare plan: Attack Obama

Days after tapping Paul Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney has sidelined the Wisconsin Republican's marquee Medicare overhaul plan and has instead gone back to attacking President Obama's health care law, which siphons more than $700 billion from the retiree health program over the next 10 years. Published August 14, 2012

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