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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

Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a Republican presidential candidate, speaks during an Economic Club of Detroit luncheon on the campaign trail on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2011. (Associated Press)

Santorum voted to preserve NEA funding

When social conservatives were fighting to stop funding the National Endowment for the Arts in the 1990s, Rick Santorum was in Congress voting to preserve taxpayer funding - pitting him against many of the high-profile culture warriors with whom he is now most identified. Published February 16, 2012

Rep. Ron Paul

Republicans see need to give Paul a voice

Rep. Ron Paul and his loyal band of supporters were uncharacteristically missing from the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington last week — and high-profile Republican leaders say the party can't afford for that to happen in November if the GOP is to win the White House. Published February 12, 2012

Republican Presidential Candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held at the Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, D.C., Friday, February 10, 2012. The annual political conference draws thousands of supporters and prominent conservative figures. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Gingrich: Debates without audience input? No thanks

GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich said that, given the current debate rules, he would refuse to take part in official commission-sponsored debates with President Obama, and instead proposed to face-off in a combat-style debate in front of thousands. Published February 11, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum waves Feb. 10, 2012, after speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Surging Santorum woos CPAC conservatives

Carrying momentum from his three recent electoral wins, Rick Santorum cast himself Friday as the reliable conservative in the GOP presidential race, arguing that he offers a bolder contrast than rival Mitt Romney on the issues that matter most to conservative and tea party voters. Published February 10, 2012

Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held at the Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, D.C., Friday, Feb. 10, 2012. The annual political conference draws thousands of supporters and prominent conservative figures. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Romney to CPAC: 'I know conservatism'

Mitt Romney tried to erase any doubts about his conservative credentials, arguing that he's fought on the front lines against government overreach and reminding a gathering of thousands of grassroots activists that he's the only candidate in the Republican presidential race who is not a "creature" of Washington. Published February 10, 2012

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held at the Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, DC, Thursday, February 9, 2012. The annual political conference draws thousands of supporters and prominent conservative figures. (Andrew Harnik / The Washington Times)

Conservatives fancy the idea of a long nomination fight

Conservatives gathered in Washington this week are increasingly relishing the prospect that the Republican presidential nomination fight will extend for months, and could even lead to a brokered convention in Tampa this summer. Published February 9, 2012

Newt Gingrich reiterates in Las Vegas that he is the true GOP conservative in the presidential race. (Associated Press)

GOP voters belie Gingrich's claim to conservative mantle

Newt Gingrich says he is the conservative choice in the 2012 presidential race, but five states into the campaign, Mitt Romney has won more self-identified conservative voters, according to an analysis by The Washington Times of entrance and exit polls. Published February 5, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, visits with campaign workers in his "War Room" with advisers during the Florida primary election at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Fla., Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney scores victory in Florida primary

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney reclaimed the top spot in the Republican presidential race with a decisive victory in Tuesday's Florida primary, making him the first candidate to notch two wins. Published January 31, 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, surrounded by volunteers working the phones, makes calls to voters from his presidential campaign headquarters in Tampa, Fla., on Jan. 31, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Romney: S.C. loss set up Florida rebound

Mitt Romney said Tuesday that his loss in South Carolina taught him that he couldn't let the attacks from rivals against him go unanswered in Florida, where he has widened his lead in the polls on the back of an around-the-clock negative campaign against former House Speaker Newt Gingrich ahead of Tuesday's pivotal primary vote. Published January 31, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally at Pioneer Park in Dunedin, Fla., on Jan. 30, 2012, the day before the Florida holds its 2012 GOP presidential primary. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Romney hits Gingrich again over Freddie Mac

Mitt Romney said Monday that the more people learn about rival Newt Gingrich's lucrative work for housing finance giant Freddie Mac, the less likely they will be to support him in the Tuesday's primary — comments that dovetail with new polls that show the former House speaker is losing ground as the vote approaches. Published January 30, 2012

Chuck Norris (Associated Press) **FILE**

In Florida run-up, Chuck Norris battles for Gingrich

Chuck Norris — perhaps best known for his role in "Delta Force" and TV series "Walker, Texas Ranger" — endorsed Newt Gingrich more than a week ago and on Monday the former House speaker's campaign pointed to his words as evidence that the "mainstream media" and "Washington elite" are out of touch with the everyday voters. Published January 30, 2012

Angel Hernandez (left) gets help with interpretation from his friend Rene Lopez as he talks about his part in the invasion of the Bay of Pigs at Los Pinarenos Fruteria, his store on Calle Ocho in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, on Thursday. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

In Florida, Republican hopefuls target Castro

Mitt Romney says if he's elected, he expects Fidel Castro will be "taken off this planet." Newt Gingrich vows he "won't tolerate another four years of a Cuban dictatorship" and Rick Santorum argues the 50-year-embargo shouldn't be lifted until the "Castros are dead." Published January 29, 2012

Republican presidential candidates (Left to Right) former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex) stand for the singing of the National Anthem as they arrive on stage for the Florida Republican Presidential Debate at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla., Thursday, January 26, 2012. This is the second and final debate before the Florida Republican primary on Tuesday, January 31, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr/ The Washington Times)

Romney, Gingrich clash over immigration in Florida debate

Newt Gingrich played the role of political pinata in the debate here Thursday as his Republican rivals whacked away at his stances on immigration, previous support of a federal health care mandate and recent call for a new moon base — all just five days out from the state's all-important presidential primary. Published January 26, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista wave Jan. 25, 2012, to the large crowd during a campaign stop in Cocoa, Fla. (Associated Press/Florida Today)

Gingrich opens door for illegal immigrants

Fighting to curry favor with Florida's large pool of Hispanic voters, Newt Gingrich on Wednesday called for a guest-worker program for most illegal immigrants, but his campaign could not say whether those people would be on a path to citizenship — the key question in the immigration debate. Published January 25, 2012

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gestures during a "Meet the Candidates" forum on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012, in Miami. (AP Photo/Jeffrey M. Boan)

Gingrich mocks Romney over 'self-deportations'

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Wednesday that rival Mitt Romney is living in an "Obama-level fantasy" world if he believes that stronger enforcement of the nation's laws will persuade illegal immigrants to leave the nation voluntarily. Published January 25, 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a GOP presidential hopeful, holds a discussion on housing and foreclosure in Tampa, Fla., on Monday. Mr. Romney slammed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for his work with Freddie Mac and called on him to release records from an ethics investigation. (Associated Press)

Romney releases tax records

Caving to calls from his top GOP rival and Democrats to come clean on his tax history, Mitt Romney released some records Tuesday that showed he's earned $42.5 million over the past two years, while shelling out more than $6 million to the IRS and $7 million in charitable donations. Published January 24, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, greets audience members after speaking at the National Gypsum Company in Tampa, Fla., Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney: Make Obama's State of the Union his last

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney urged voters here to make President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday his last and blamed the Democrat for pushing policies that have raised the nation's unemployment rate, worsened the housing crises and pushed the nation deeper into a sea of red ink. Published January 24, 2012