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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

‘Sesame Street’ firm calls on Obama to pull ‘Big Bird’ ad

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit company that owns Big Bird and the rest of the “Sesame Street” gang, asked the Obama campaign Tuesday to pull down political ads featuring the iconic bird and attacking Mitt Romney for saying he would end taxpayer funding for PBS. Published October 9, 2012

Romney to build on debate boost

An energized Mitt Romney is looking to build on his new campaign momentum in the country’s swing states, including in Ohio, where he is deploying some of his heaviest political artillery and personalizing his message in his hunt for undecided voters. Published October 9, 2012

**FILE** A protester dressed as Big Bird stands Oct. 6, 2012, outside of the amphitheater in Apopka Fla., where Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney prepares to speak during a campaign rally. (Associated Press)

Feathers fly as candidates fight over Big Bird

Mitt Romney flipped President Obama's re-election team the proverbial bird on Tuesday, saying the Democrats' attempts to make a big issue over Mr. Romney's opposition to federal subsidies for Big Bird reflect their misguided priorities. Published October 9, 2012

** FILE ** Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama speak during the first presidential debate, at the University of Denver on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Goldman/Eric Gay)

Obama launches pre-emptive strike ahead of Romney's foreign policy speech

President Obama's re-election campaign on Monday launched a pre-emptive strike ahead of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's planned foreign policy address, arguing that Mr. Romney has failed the the commander-in-chief test on the global stage — in part by staking out positions to the right of former President George W. Bush. Published October 8, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shakes hands Oct. 8, 2012, during a campaign rally in Newport News, Va. (Associated Press)

Romney lays out policies for foes and friends of America

Mitt Romney vowed Monday to "recommit" the United States to a two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians, to put "clear conditions" on U.S. assistance to Egypt and to ensure Syrian opponents get access to needed weapons as he sought to define key foreign policy differences with President Obama. Published October 8, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, campaign at Tradition Town Square in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney 
to slam 
Obama 
on warfare

Mitt Romney on Monday will accuse the Obama administration of fundamentally misunderstanding the threat of radical Islam, using a major foreign-policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute to say President Obama is rejecting six decades of bipartisan consensus by not flexing more U.S. muscle on the world stage. Published October 8, 2012

David Axelrod ** FILE **

Obama camp looking for answers in aftermath

Mitt Romney's debate performance continued to wear well Thursday as President Obama's backers searched for answers to what went wrong with their candidate, who voters and pundits alike said lacked the magic that captivated the country in 2008. Published October 4, 2012

The stage is seen before a presidential debate at the University of Denver Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, in Denver. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will hold their first debate Wednesday. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Debates not last word on presidential race

The presidential debates may be the biggest news events between now and Election Day, but with two monthly jobs reports, the final deficit tally and several other end-of-the-fiscal-year numbers due, the calendar is littered with other potential political land mines. Published October 3, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigns at Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney won't deport illegal immigrants with temporary legal status

Moving to soften his immigration stance ever so slightly, Mitt Romney said this week he will not immediately deport the illegal immigrants granted tentative legal status by President Obama — and the Republican nominee also set a soft deadline for getting a broader immigration bill done in 18 months. Published October 2, 2012

** FILE ** In 1980: President Carter and Republican candidate Ronald Reagan shake hands after debating in Cleveland. (Associated Press)

Presidential debate ritual is great equalizer for incumbent, challenger

Call it the built-in gravitas gap: President Obama flies the country in a grand 747, cruises in plush limousines adorned with American flags, and speaks from the White House Rose Garden, while his campaign opponent, Mitt Romney, flies in a smaller MD-83 passenger jet, rides in nondescript SUVs and makes speeches at factories and strip malls. Published October 2, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shakes hands during a Sept. 28, 2012, rally at Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Wayne, Pa. (Associated Press)

Romney insists Pa. in play in November

Mitt Romney courted military cadets and top-dollar donors on Friday as he declared Pennsylvania up for grabs in the November election — a state where the campaign is not running television ads and where poll numbers suggest that Friday's pit stop appeared to be more about raising the money needed to compete in more hotly-contested battleground states. Published September 28, 2012

President Obama has an uphill battle convincing military voters that they should re-elect him as commander in chief. (Associated Press)

Obama, Romney move battle to Virginia for military votes

President Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney each trolled for military votes Thursday in the critical swing state of Virginia, and although polls show Mr. Obama with a slight edge overall in the state, he is having trouble convincing veterans that he should remain their commander in chief. Published September 27, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks Sept. 25, 2012, during a campaign rally in Vandalia, Ohio. (Associated Press)

Romney, Obama locked in a duel for Ohio’s working-class voters

Scrambling to regain his footing in the Buckeye State, Mitt Romney enlisted the help Wednesday of a golf legend and a television star with the sort of blue-collar credentials that could resonate with the state's working-class voters. President Obama, meanwhile, made his own Ohio pitch to college crowds at Bowling Green and Kent State. Published September 26, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks Sept. 17, 2012, to reporters in Costa Mesa, Calif. (Associated Press)

Romney tax release appears to undercut Democratic charges

Seeking to put to rest lingering questions about his tax history, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Friday released his 2011 tax return as well as a 20-year "summary" of what he has paid to the IRS – a financial history, as told by tax preparers, that appears to punch a hole in Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid’s claim that the Republican presidential nominee avoided paying federal income taxes for more than a decade. Published September 21, 2012

Romney campaign zeroes in on Florida

Mitt Romney told a Florida crowd Thursday that he — not President Obama — is the real agent of "change" in the 2012 election as the Republican presidential nominee tried to win over voters in a state that's joined Ohio as key bellwethers in presidential elections. Published September 20, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks Sept. 19, 2012, to supporters in Miami. (Associated Press)

On the attack, Romney slams Obama's 'government-centered' approach

Far from backing away, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his campaign are embracing his claim that nearly half of Americans are dependent on government as they seek to frame the race as a choice between the GOP's wealth-creation policies and what they called President Obama's wealth-redistribution message. Published September 19, 2012

Nondeportation trips up Romney

President Obama's nondeportation policy continued to tie Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in knots Wednesday as he struggled to find a stance that can appeal to Hispanic voters while not angering his own conservative base. Published September 19, 2012

Lunch is served as Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign fundraising event at The Grand America in Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney, in damage-control mode, takes on Obama’s views on wealth

Mitt Romney on Tuesday said that President Obama's economic vision embraces the notion that government is an instrument to be used to redistribute people's hard-earned money as the Republican presidential candidate tried to curtail political damage from caught-on-camera comments that indicated he has written off nearly half of the electorate. Published September 18, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles on Sept. 17, 2012. (Associated Press)

Romney campaign gets down to specifics

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will recalibrate his message over the final weeks of the race, his campaign said Monday, putting a "new emphasis" on the "specific aspects" of his policy prescriptions for strengthening the nation's economy and foreign policy abroad. Published September 17, 2012

Fundraisers, not voters, attract nominees to opposition states

Mitt Romney made the more-than-2,200-mile journey last week from Reno, Nev., to Jacksonville, Fla., to appear at the only event he had penciled in for the following day: a fundraiser where guests ponied up as much as $50,000 to see the former governor up close and personal. Published September 16, 2012