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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

Romney criticizes Obama's push to cut defense spending

Mitt Romney told the nation's oldest major veterans organization Tuesday that the Obama administration's push to cut defense spending is based on either a misguided belief that the world is becoming a safer place or a wrongheaded notion that the United States should "become a lesser power." Published August 30, 2011

Rep. Michele Bachmann waves goodbye to a small group of supporters in the parking lot of Calistoga Bakery Cafe in Naples, Fla., on Monday after a brief campaign stop. (Naples (Fla.) Daily News via Associated Press)

Bachmann claims vital crossover support, but shows little evidence

Rep. Michele Bachmann says she is winning the kind of crossover support from disgruntled Democrats and independents that will be needed to defeat President Obama next year, but pollsters and political analysts don't think the claim — at least for now — pans out. Published August 29, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican (Associated Press)

White House hopefuls praise Libya's rebels, but not Obama's role

The Republican presidential field showered praise on the Libyan rebels and described the collapse of Col. Moammar Gadhafi's regime as a victory for freedom and a "cause for cautious celebration" Monday, but steered clear of giving the Obama administration any credit for military intervention there. Published August 22, 2011

GOP rivals say Obama faltered on Assad

Republican White House hopefuls are attacking President Obama's response to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad's bloody, five-month crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, saying the commander in chief wasted valuable time in mulling the situation. Published August 21, 2011

Ron Paul speaks to several hundred people on Wednesday in Concord, N.H. "We have a lot more supporters and a lot more organization," Mr. Paul said. "I think the campaign team is a lot more sophisticated, and they know what to do out here." (Associated Press)

Second time's the charm as Paul learns from '08 bid

While other candidates are dominating headlines in the Republican presidential campaign, Ron Paul is quietly commanding a campaign that's showing a level of maturity in fundraising and performance that was lacking four years ago. Published August 18, 2011

Texas Gov. Rick Perry greets visitors to the Iowa State Fair Monday, his first full day campaigning for the GOP presidential nomination. (Associated Press)

Perry serves up red meat at Obama’s expense

Standing within sight of a fried-Twinkie stand, Rick Perry served up some of the political red meat and Texas twang that could make him a force in the GOP presidential race, telling the crowd gathered here at the Iowa State Fair that Washington is strangling the economy with too much taxation, regulation and litigation. Published August 15, 2011

MAKING FRIENDS: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the newest Republican presidential candidate, high-fives Remington Tack, 4, at the Black Hawk County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner in Waterloo, Iowa, on Sunday. (Associated Press)

Iowa straw poll reshapes GOP race

The weekend's straw poll in Ames lived up to its historic role as presidential bouncer, validating Rep. Michelle Bachmann's front-runner status in Iowa and kicking former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty to the curb — reshuffling the Republican race for the White House along the way. Published August 14, 2011

Pawlenty calls it quits after poor Iowa showing

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Sunday that he's dropping out of the Republican presidential race, just hours after finishing a disappointing third in the Iowa Straw Poll. Published August 14, 2011

Confetti falls as Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, and her husband, Marcus, rally supporters at the Iowa Republican Party's Straw Poll in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Michele Bachmann wins Iowa Straw Poll; Ron Paul in second place in GOP test vote

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann won the mega-hyped presidential Iowa Straw Poll, while Rep. Ron Paul showed why he’s been called the Babe Ruth of these kinds of contests, finishing a close second — an outcome that’s likely to give their candidacies a jolt of momentum heading into the fall campaign season. Published August 13, 2011

GOP candidates make last ditch push before straw poll

With the clock ticking down to the Ames Straw poll, the GOP candidates with the most riding on the results barnstormed the Iowa State Fair Friday in search of any additional support, as they prepared for an event that could make or break their presidential dreams. Published August 12, 2011

Bachmann, Pawlenty trade barbs in Iowa debate

The notion of “Minnesota nice" took a hit in the presidential debate here Thursday night, as former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Rep. Michele Bachmann, both of Minnesota, took aggressive public swipes at each other, blasting one another's records and questioning whether they were ready to run the country. Published August 11, 2011

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (left) campaigns at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, on Aug. 11, 2011. (Associated Press)

Romney takes on hecklers in Iowa

Mitt Romney faced down chants of “Wall Street greed!” Thursday as he stood, leg astride a hay bale, and brushed aside hecklers questioning how he planned to beef up Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid without cutting benefits. Published August 11, 2011


Early primaries could shift focus to immigration

The prospect of Arizona moving up its presidential primary next year has Republican leaders concerned that an early focus on immigration would detract from what many see as the GOP's 2012 trump card — President Obama's handling of the economy. Published August 8, 2011

GOP voters ask: 'Johnson who?'

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson is the Rodney Dangerfield of this year's GOP presidential field — he gets no respect, despite a strong conservative record, a stint as governor of a key state, and a colorful background in the public and private sectors. Published August 7, 2011

Rep. Michele Bachmann is among nine Republicans presidential candidates jockeying for position in next month's straw poll in Ames, Iowa. (Associated Press)

Bachmann, Pawlenty trade barbs before Iowa straw poll

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Rep. Michele Bachmann's war of words comes as GOP presidential candidates jockey for position before the Aug. 13 Ames Straw Poll — the circuslike event in Iowa that some have billed the "Minnesota Primary." Published July 28, 2011

HEARD: "The magnificence of what is happening right now," Ron Paul says, "is [people] are starting to pay attention." (Drew Angerer/The Washington Times)

Paul's supporters see his influence beyond win-lose

Ron Paul supporters know he has little chance of becoming the next president, but they say his third bid for the job is about more than winning the GOP nomination or the White House — it's about guiding the political landscape beyond the Republican-Democrat duopoly that's controlled Washington for more than a century. Published July 27, 2011

**FILE** In this photo from June 18, 2011, Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans. (Associated Press)

Ex-governors' jobs numbers trail Perry's

The former governors in the GOP presidential field tout their political accomplishments as proof they can lead the nation out of the economic doldrums, but when it comes to actual job numbers, the trio doesn't hold a candle to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has emerged in recent polls as a strong conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. Published July 24, 2011

Republican candidates split on debt-ceiling fix

Just as Republican leaders on Capitol Hill are splintered on strategy over the debt limit, so is the party's presidential field, with the tea-party wing saying an increase should be rejected and the more moderate elements taking a wait-and-see approach. Published July 14, 2011