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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

Newt Gingrich, answering media questions in South Carolina in November, has made a point of ridiculing the press during his presidential campaign, but without the free coverage he's received, his money-challenged campaign might never have gotten off the ground. (Associated Press)

Gingrich bashes, employs media to get ahead

Newt Gingrich has made a point of ridiculing the press during his presidential campaign, but he actually owes the media a debt of gratitude. Without the free coverage he has received, the money-challenged Gingrich campaign might never have gotten off the ground. Published December 12, 2011

Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump shake hands after speaking to reporters in New York on Monday. Mr. Gingrich praised Mr. Trump after Rep. Ron Paul earlier criticized him and declined an invitation to a debate he will host in Iowa on Dec. 27. (Associated Press)

GOP hopefuls passing on Trump debate

Donald Trump's stature within Republican ranks appears to be waning, after most of the party's presidential hopefuls have shot down the billionaire developer's invitation to take part in a "debate" moderated by "The Donald." Published December 9, 2011

**FILE** Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich (left) speaks Nov. 12, 2011, during the CBS News/National Journal foreign policy debate at the Benjamin Johnson Arena in Spartanburg, S.C., as fellow candidate and former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney listens. (Associated Press)

Gingrich, Romney engage in surrogate wars

Borrowing a page from Mitt Romney's playbook, Newt Gingrich deployed a couple of his surrogates Friday to criticize the former Massachusetts governor's attempts to "tear down" the former House speaker and question his ability to lead the nation. Published December 9, 2011

Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich addresses the 2012 Republican Presidential Candidates Forum, hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition, on Dec. 7, 2011, in Washington. (Associated Press)

Former Hill allies call out Gingrich

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's political past is starting to haunt him on the campaign trail, where several of his ex-colleagues are saying his surplus of ideas often left political messes that they had to clean up, and that this harmed the conservative cause he championed. Published December 8, 2011

Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican

Tea Party Caucus doesn't back Bachmann

Rep. Michele Bachmann founded and leads the House Tea Party Caucus, but the Minnesota Republican's presidential bid has won only one endorsement from its five dozen members — putting her well shy of Mitt Romney, who leads the presidential field with eight supporters from the caucus. Published December 7, 2011

Newt Gingrich

Gingrich: John Bolton will be my secretary of state

Newt Gingrich promised conservatives on Tuesday he would ask former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton to be his secretary of state if he's elected president next year, according to several of those who met with him Published December 7, 2011

Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump shake hands after speaking to reporters in New York on Monday. Mr. Gingrich praised Mr. Trump after Rep. Ron Paul earlier criticized him and declined an invitation to a debate he will host in Iowa on Dec. 27. (Associated Press)

Ads blitz in Iowa: More spots more often as caucuses near

Less than a month before the Iowa caucuses, the ad wars are intensifying in the Hawkeye State, with both Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul rolling out new commercials Monday aimed at seizing the electoral high ground in a state that's had five GOP presidential front-runners in as many months. Published December 5, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stumps in Florida. He has dramatically boosted his campaigning in Iowa with just a month to go before caucuses there. (Associated Press)

Romney uses new ad, adrenaline to woo Iowa

After spending most of the presidential primary tamping down expectations in Iowa, Mitt Romney is cranking up his campaign efforts in the Hawkeye State, including running his first TV ad almost exactly a month before Republican voters hold their first-in-the-nation caucuses. Published December 1, 2011

** FILE ** Former first lady Laura Bush introduces her husband, former President George W. Bush, at the "topping out" ceremony of his library on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. (Associated Press)

For Republican candidates, mum's the word on Bush

George W. Bush left office less than three years ago, but for the Republicans seeking to fill his shoes as the next president, the mere mention of his name has been all but absent. Published November 30, 2011

Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio (AP Photo)

Arizona's Sheriff Arpaio endorses Perry

One of the nation's leading immigration hard-liners threw his support behind three-term Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday, saying Mr. Perry has done more to combat illegal immigration and secure the border than any other candidate in the Republican presidential field. Published November 29, 2011

Ginger White goes public near Dunwoody, Ga., on Monday. In an explosive allegation, Ms. White said she and Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain had a 13-year extramarital affair that lasted nearly until the former businessman announced his candidacy for the White House several months ago. (Associated Press)

Cain denies new claim of 13-year-long affair

An Atlanta businesswoman said Monday that she had a 13-year extramarital affair with Herman Cain — an accusation he went on television to deny, but that is likely to continue as a storyline that has dented the presidential hopes of the onetime Republican front-runner. Published November 28, 2011

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves after speaking at the Defending the American Dream Summit in Washington on Nov. 4, 2011. (Associated Press)

Dems' ads riff on 'flip-flopping' Romney

The Democratic National Committee is out with new ads playing up Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's reputation as a flip-flopper, criticizing his evolving positions on issues ranging from abortion and climate change to health care and gun rights. Published November 28, 2011

Newt Gingrich

Gingrich snags N.H. newspaper's nod

The surging Newt Gingrich presidential campaign scored a key win over Republican primary rival Mitt Romney on Sunday when New Hampshire's largest newspaper, the Union Leader, endorsed the former House speaker over the former Massachusetts governor. Published November 27, 2011

Sen. Mike Lee (right) of Utah confers with fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky during a recent meeting of the Tea Party Debt Commission. The two lawmakers were elected in 2010 with help from the tea party. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

Year later, tea party's profile low but focused

A year ago, the tea party was the focus of Washington, praised by Republicans for the punching power it displayed in the 2010 election fight and derided by Democrats as an unhealthy influence on the ascendant GOP. Published November 27, 2011

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum greets Gary Gahan, 66, of Merrimack, N.H., at a recent campaign stop in Rochester, N.H. The former senator from Pennsylvania hopes to do well in the Granite State's Jan. 10 first-in-the-nation primary. (Associated Press)

Santorum eyes brass ring on anti-Romney 'carousel'

Rick Santorum is on the verge of becoming the Republican presidential front-runner. At least, that's the case if there's another round of the recurring story line of the 2012 GOP primary race — one candidate after another taking a short-lived spin as the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. Published November 24, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, with Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, speaks Wednesday to workers at Nationwide Insurance Co. in Des Moines, Iowa. Mr. Romney is using a tough stance against illegal immigration to separate himself from his rivals for the nomination. (Associated Press)

Immigration a tough GOP sticking point

Twice this year, Mitt Romney has turned to illegal immigration to try to blunt the rise of opponents in the Republican presidential field, including most recently on Tuesday, when he accused Newt Gingrich of supporting "amnesty." Published November 23, 2011

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks Nov. 22, 2011, at a Republican presidential debate in Washington. (Associated Press)

Republican hopefuls diverge on immigration, Iran policies

Surging in Republican presidential primary polls, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich used Tuesday night's national security debate in Washington to argue for a potential strike on Iran, a broader Patriot Act and the granting of legal status to many illegals in the U.S. as a way to regain control of the immigration system. Published November 22, 2011

President Barack Obama makes a statement at the White House after the congressional debt supercommittee failed to reach an agreement on debt reduction on Monday, Nov. 21, 2011, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Romney ads 'welcome' Obama to New Hampshire

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is giving President Obama a "welcome" ahead of his trip to New Hampshire on Tuesday, arguing in full-page newspaper ads and a new television commercial that Mr. Obama's policies have failed to create jobs and spur investment. Published November 22, 2011

NEW NEWT?: Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich's campaign says the former speaker of the House is willing to admit when he is wrong, but some Republicans remain skeptical of positions he has taken in the past. (Associated Press)

Gingrich's 2012 platform at odds with planks from past

On issues such as Social Security, taxes and environmental regulation, the Newt Gingrich of the 1980s and 1990s is proving to be a problem for the 2012 presidential hopeful, who promises to fundamentally transform Washington. Published November 15, 2011