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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

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, left, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, listen to Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, answer a question during a Republican presidential candidate debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Paul digs in heels during GOP debate in N.H.

Rep. Ron Paul fought to protect his top-tier status in the Republican presidential race during Saturday night's debate, ripping into the records of his closest rivals and putting up a feisty defense of his limited government philosophy. Published January 7, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich shakes hands at campaign town meeting in Salem, N.H., Friday, Jan. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Gingrich: Romney win would hurt GOP

As the Republican presidential candidates geared up Saturday for two crucial debates 12 hours apart, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said the party's core principles would be undermined if front-runner Mitt Romney wins the nomination. Published January 7, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum campaigns Jan. 6, 2012, at the Keene Public Library in Keene, N.H. (Associated Press)

Santorum takes heat on values

Rick Santorum's reputation as a crusader for conservative social values is getting tested here in New Hampshire, where he's facing down sharp questions from voters about marriage, abortion and how he justifies going to war as a Roman Catholic. Published January 6, 2012

**FILE** Mitt Romney (Associated Press)

Bay Buchanan endorses Mitt Romney

Conservative activist Bay Buchanan endorsed Mitt Romney's presidential bid Friday, saying that the former Massachusetts governor is the kind of person that voters can trust in the White House. Published January 6, 2012

Customers and employees try to catch the attention of Mr. Santorum during his campaign stop at the Tilt'n Diner. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Santorum touts his 'past performance'

Using the same message that catapulted him to a near-win in Iowa, Rick Santorum told New Hampshire primary voters Thursday to ignore the pundits and decide for themselves who the GOP's presidential nominee should be, even as he ramped up attacks on front-runner Mitt Romney. Published January 5, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich talks Jan. 4, 2012, to reporters after a campaign stop in Concord, N.H. (Associated Press)

After Iowa, verbal barbs fly among GOP candidates

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich picked up Wednesday where he left off after his disappointing fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses the night before, questioning the conservative credentials of rival Mitt Romney, who pulled out a paper-thin victory in the Hawkeye State. Published January 4, 2012

Newt Gingrich ditched his "high road" campaign Tuesday, calling Mitt Romney a liar as the presidential contest shifted to upcoming contests in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida. A PAC supporting Mr. Romney has been running anti-Gingrich ads. (Associated Press)

Race shifts to N.H. with Santorum surging, Gingrich fighting back

The excitement inside former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum's campaign headquarters grew throughout the evening here Tuesday as it became increasingly clear that he would finish in a virtual tie for first with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Iowa's Republican caucuses. Published January 3, 2012

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. greets people during his tour of businesses in downtown Nashua, N.H., on Monday. The Republican presidential candidate has held more than 140 events in the state, which holds its primary Jan. 10. (Associated Press)

Huntsman makes final push in New Hampshire

Jon Huntsman Jr.'s Monday began like most of his days recently: The former Utah governor pulled on his cowboy boots and headed out to pound the New Hampshire pavement, looking for support for his presidential bid one voter at a time. Published January 2, 2012

Sen. Richard G. Lugar, Indiana Republican, is a 2012 target of the Tea Party. (Associated Press)

Tea party looks for strength in numbers

With polls showing the movement's popularity sagging, tea party members from across the country are warning that anyone who thinks they are sleeping in 2012 is in for a rude awakening come Election Day, when they plan to pick up where they left off in 2010 by bolstering their voices for limited government on Capitol Hill. Published December 29, 2011

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican presidential candidate, gets up on his soapbox to deliver a stump speech during a campaign stop at a feed store in Lancaster, N.H., on Thursday. (Associated Press)

Romney backers join him on stump in New Hampshire

LANCASTER, N.H. | Standing atop a makeshift soapbox in the parking lot of a farm supply store, Mitt Romney made sure to highlight the members of his traveling army, starting with Sen. Kelly Ayotte and former Gov. John H. Sununu - two of this state's most well-known and well-liked political figures. Published December 22, 2011

PIZZA PARLOR POLITICIAN: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican presidential contender, shakes hands with patrons while campaigning at Village Pizza in Newport, N.H. (Associated Press)

Romney boards 'Earn It' bus, fumes past Gingrich

Mitt Romney, back atop the GOP field in the latest Rasmussen Reports poll in Iowa, kicked off his "Earn It" bus tour in New Hampshire on Wednesday with another jab at Republican rival Newt Gingrich, who has been sharply criticizing the former Massachusetts governor's "negative" campaigning. Published December 21, 2011

Endorsements touted, but value uncertain

The polls show Republican voters in New Hampshire seem to prefer Mitt Romney in the presidential election, but earlier this month, the state's largest paper issued a high-profile endorsement of his chief rival, Newt Gingrich. Published December 21, 2011

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney arrives for a rally at Missouri Valley Steel in Sioux City, Iowa, on Friday, Dec. 16, 2011, in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. (AP Photo)

Romney works to cut Gingrich lead in South Carolina

Fresh off the final GOP presidential debate before the nomination race begins, Mitt Romney turned his attention Friday from Iowa's caucuses to chasing down Newt Gingrich in South Carolina, where the former House speaker holds a commanding lead in the polls. Published December 16, 2011

** FILE ** Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich speaks Dec. 10, 2011, during a GOP presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa. (Associated Press)

Romney slams Gingrich for flip-flopping on Freddie Mac

For the third time in as many days, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's presidential campaign kicked off the morning by casting former House Speaker Newt Gingrich as an unreliable conservative leader — this time turning Mr. Gingrich's own words against him. Published December 14, 2011

Cain wishes America 'Merry Christmas'

Herman Cain wished the United States merry Christmas via the worldwide Web Wednesday - sending out a video where he's sitting fireside with his wife, Gloria, and reading passages from the Bible. Published December 14, 2011

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