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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

Liberals vow to challenge Obama in Democratic primaries

Worried the liberal voice is being drowned out in the presidential campaign, progressive leaders said Monday they want to field a slate of candidates against President Obama in the Democratic primaries to make him stake out liberal stances as he seeks re-election. Published September 19, 2011

State record on jobs is no guarantee as president

Gov. Rick Perry says that on his watch Texas has created more than 1 million jobs. Former Gov. Mitt Romney touts turning job losses into gains in Massachusetts. Former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. boasts that his job-growth credentials in Utah trump them both. But records from recent governors turned president show it's difficult to re-create gubernatorial success on a national level. Published September 18, 2011

Trying new pitch, Romney stirs old core-belief doubts

Already dogged by a reputation for political shifts on the campaign trail, Mitt Romney is once again honing a new sales pitch to voters, now casting himself as a real-world "conservative businessman." Published September 8, 2011

Texas Gov. Rick Perry arrives for a Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., on Wednesday. Mr. Perry introduced himself to a national audience and appeared with his GOP rivals on the same stage for the first time since entering the race last month.

Do or die for GOP hopefuls

With three more presidential debates scheduled and a quarterly fundraising report due, the next five weeks loom as do-or-die time for some of the lesser GOP candidates trying to make enough of an impression to stay in the race. Published September 7, 2011

** FILE ** Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican on the campaign trail in Freedom, N.H. (Associated Press)

Paul: Perry's not really conservative

Republican presidential contender Ron Paul, for the second day in a row, criticized Rick Perry's record as a conservative and cast the Texas governor as a wolf in sheep's clothing. Published September 7, 2011

GOP rivals test bounds of Reagan's admonition

President Reagan's famous "11th Commandment" — Republicans shalt not speak ill of fellow Republicans — is being sorely tested in the heat of the 2012 presidential sweepstakes. Published September 6, 2011

Romney invitation divides the tea party

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's appearance at an upcoming tea party rally is creating a rift between different arms of the grass-roots movement, with one side arguing that Mr. Romney "is an establishment hack posing as an outsider." Published August 31, 2011

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