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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

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney reacts while greeting supporters at a rally in Schaumburg, Ill., after the winning the Illinois Republican presidential primary, Tuesday, March 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Illinois win moves Romney closer to inevitability

Mitt Romney notched another victory in the Republican primaries on Tuesday, defeating Rick Santorum in Illinois and adding to the growing sense of inevitability that he will be the nominee to face President Obama in the fall. Published March 20, 2012

Hyde Park embraces old neighbor, shuns GOP

President Obama still has boatloads of fans — and seemingly no political enemies — in his old backyard of Hyde Park, the neighborhood from where he launched the political career that eventually landed him in the White House. Published March 20, 2012

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, speaking at the University of Chicago, said some of the nation's foremost inventors of an earlier era would have suffocated under the weight of the regulatory burden of today's federal government. (Associated Press)

Romney rallies for 'economic freedom'

Mitt Romney focused his attacks Monday on President Obama as he campaigned ahead of the Illinois primary, while his chief rival for the GOP nomination — Rick Santorum — blasted the former Massachusetts governor's health care record and predicted that delegates will reject him if the race lasts until this summer's convention. Published March 19, 2012

Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II refused to say for whom he voted in the March 6 Virginia GOP presidential primary. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Cuccinelli fears Romney nomination would neutralize health law as issue

Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, who has led the state's fight against President Obama's health care law, warned Thursday that Republicans would be "effectively giving up the issue" if they tap Mitt Romney as their presidential nominee. Published March 15, 2012

Mitt Romney tells Fox News' Megyn Kelly on "America Live" Wednesday that very conservative voters who don't support him now will favor him against Barack Obama. (Associated Press)

Romney's delegate gain is still loss of 'cushion'

Mitt Romney extended his lead in delegates in the Republican presidential nomination fight this week, but his hopes of avoiding a contested convention dimmed slightly after third-place finishes in Tuesday night's two biggest contests. Published March 14, 2012

In this Monday, March 12, 2012, photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum campaign in Montgomery, Ala. Santorum won the Republican presidential primary Tuesday, March 13, in Alabama (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Santorum wins; Romney pads delegate lead

Bolstering his claim that he's the strongest conservative in the Republican presidential field, Rick Santorum swept the Alabama and Mississippi primaries on Tuesday, sending a strong signal to Mitt Romney that the GOP front-runner still isn't connecting with a big chunk of the party's deeply conservative base. Published March 13, 2012

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum failed to qualify for the ballot in Washington, D.C., and Virginia, allowing front-runner Mitt Romney to pad his delegate lead ahead of August's Republican National Convention. Such mishaps prove "he is incapable of taking on President Obama's formidable political machine," said Andrea Saul, a Romney spokeswoman. (Associated Press)

Santorum is a 'David' of his own making

Rick Santorum is casting his fight with Mitt Romney as a "David-versus-Goliath" battle — but from failing to get his name on ballots to coming up short on raising cash, the Republican presidential contender deserves at least part of the blame, political observers say. Published March 13, 2012

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy introduces Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at a campaign stop at the Whistle Stop Cafe, Monday, March 12, 2012, in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/ John David Mercer)

Who says Romney can't win in the South?

The showdown between Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich was supposed to be the big story in Tuesday's GOP contests in Alabama and Mississippi — but polls show Mitt Romney is poised to rewrite the narrative that he can't win in the Deep South. Published March 12, 2012

Rick Santorum, campaigning with his daughter Elizabeth in Lenexa, Kan., wasted no time using the issue of health care mandates against Mitt Romney, his toughest rival in the Republican presidential nominating contests. (Associated Press)

Santorum assails Romney's health care stances

While Mitt Romney squeaked out a narrow victory in Ohio's Republican primary, chief opponent Rick Santorum peeled away the scab and drew new blood over the former Massachusetts governor's history on health care, resurrecting the chief obstacle between Mr. Romney and the nomination. Published March 7, 2012

Mitt Romney greets supporters at Taylor-Winfield Technologies in Youngstown, Ohio. The GOP presidential candidate pushed his theme of more jobs and smaller government. (Associated Press)

Romney pushes jobs; Santorum lobs attacks

Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum wrapped up their final full day of campaigning in Ohio before Tuesday's pivotal Republican presidential primary, delivering their respective closing arguments as Mr. Santorum's stock dipped in the polls and Mr. Romney brushed off new questions about his support for a federal health care mandate. Published March 5, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks March 5, 2012, at the American Legion in Westerville, Ohio. (Associated Press)

Santorum hammers Romney on health care stance

Rick Santorum accused Mitt Romney on Monday of trying to cover up his prior support for a federal health care mandate, holding it up as proof that the former Massachusetts governor can't be trusted when it comes to standing up for basic conservative tenets — and that he can. Published March 5, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally in Dayton, Ohio Saturday, March 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Ohio primary win seen as springboard for November

Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are blanketing Ohio with "robocalls," mailings, and TV and radio spots in the countdown to Super Tuesday, the 10-state mega-contest that is the first major test of the candidates' national organizations. Published March 4, 2012

Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a Republican presidential candidate, greets supporters after speaking at Temple Baptist Church in Powell, Tenn., on Wednesday. Mr. Santorum won 15 delegates in the Michigan primary. (Associated Press)

Santorum claims win despite loss in Michigan

Mitt Romney won more votes than Rick Santorum in Tuesday's Michigan primary, but the two Republican front-runners split the delegate haul down the middle — 15 each — prompting the Santorum campaign to declare victory as the focus shifts to next week's Super Tuesday. Published February 29, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters Feb. 29, 2012, at American Posts in Toledo, Ohio. (Associated Press)

Romney cites economic concerns in primary wins

Fresh off his two-state sweep of the Arizona and Michigan primaries, Mitt Romney carried his new momentum to a steel distributor in Ohio, where voters will head to the polls next week as part of the all-important Super Tuesday contests. Published February 29, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his wife Ann Romney wave at his election night party in Novi, Mich., Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Romney sweeps Arizona, Michigan primaries

Overcoming his own stumbles and what he called one opponent's "dirty trick" campaign, Mitt Romney swept both the Arizona and Michigan primaries on Tuesday, once again taking control of the Republican presidential race and earning valuable momentum as the field prepares for Super Tuesday next week. Published February 28, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum shakes hands with volunteers during a Feb. 28, 2012, stop at his campaign field office in Grand Rapids, Mich. (Associated Press)

Santorum, Romney trade charges of campaign dirty tricks

With voters heading to the polls for the state's pivotal primary, Rick Santorum on Tuesday dismissed rival Mitt Romney's claim that he's resorted to "dirty tricks" by calling on Michigan Democrats to support his candidacy. Published February 28, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally in Albion, Mich., Monday, Feb. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Romney works for votes using economic pitch

Mitt Romney, looking to stave off a potentially devastating loss in the state where he was born and bred, centered his message on the economy Monday, telling crowds across the state that he's best equipped to get people back to work and the nation's fiscal house back in order. Published February 27, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (left) walks Feb. 26, 2012, with Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll before the NASCAR Daytona 500 Sprint Cup series auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.. (Associated Press)

Critics hit Romney job-creation record

Mitt Romney is fighting for votes in economically struggling Michigan by pointing to his job-creation record in Massachusetts for proof he can jump-start bad economies — but the drop in unemployment during his time as governor may be a result more of willing workers fleeing the state than from his own ability to spawn jobs. Published February 26, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks on Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, to the Detroit Economic Club at Ford Field in Detroit. (Associated Press)

Romney pitches Mich. voters with economic plan

Mitt Romney returned home Friday to give Michigan voters a glimpse of his plans to get the nation's fiscal house in order and to strengthen the economy, as he worked to court voters in one of the states' that was hit hardest by the economic recession. Published February 24, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks Feb. 22, 2012, during a campaign rally at the Sabbar Shrine Center in Tucson, Ariz. (Associated Press)

GOP hopefuls try to separate from bailouts by Bush

Scrambling for support ahead of Tuesday's Michigan primary, Republican presidential contenders are again trying to distance themselves from former President George W. Bush's bailouts of Wall Street and the auto industry — moves, they say, that have stained the party's reputation. Published February 22, 2012