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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Stephen Dinan

Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at a campaign stop at the Hilton Head Diner Friday, Jan. 13, 2012, in Hilton Head, S.C. A federal judge refused to add Rick Perry and three others to the Virginia Presidential primary Friday. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Four GOP candidates blocked on Va. ballot bid

A judge has rejected a last-ditch bid by four Republican presidential candidates to get on Virginia's GOP primary ballot, leaving the March 6 contest only to front-runner Mitt Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul. Published January 13, 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and South Carolina Gov. Nikki R. Haley campaign at the Hall at Senate's End in Columbia, S.C., on Wednesday. Mr. Romney took aim at President Obama on the stump, saying he is in "over his head." (Associated Press)

Romney targets Obama on stump in South Carolina

Fresh off his win in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney arrived in South Carolina on Wednesday sounding ever more like the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, launching straight into an attack on President Obama. Published January 11, 2012

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney boards his campaign plane Wednesday in Bedford, Mass., heading for South Carolina, site of the next primary contest on Jan. 21. His strong stance against illegal immigration dovetails with South Carolina's tough new law. (Associated Press)

Romney's push against amnesty makes immigration a defining issue

Mitt Romney collected the endorsements Wednesday of the architect of Arizona's immigration-crackdown law, completing a journey that has taken him from lukewarm support of legalization to the Republican presidential field's most ardent opponent of amnesty. Published January 11, 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney celebrates his win in the New Hampshire primary election in Manchester, N.H., on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney boosts bankroll with best fundraising quarter

Fresh off his win in New Hampshire, making former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney two-for-two in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign on Wednesday said he had raised $24 million in the final three months of 2011 and had $19 million in cash on hand. Published January 11, 2012

Richard Boggs of Fort Mill, S.C., (left) listens as Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a GOP presidential hopeful, speaks (at right) during a campaign stop to Kinch's restaurant in Rock Hill, S.C., on Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Up next, South Carolina a make-or-break state

Even before Mitt Romney clinched the New Hampshire primary Tuesday, most of the Republican candidates already had turned their eye to South Carolina, which is shaping up to be the key make-or-break test in the party's presidential nomination marathon. Published January 10, 2012

FINAL HOURS: One day before the first presidential primary, Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas visits MoeJoe's Family Restaurant in Manchester, N.H. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Paul's campaign finds big gender gap to bridge

Ron Paul's been playing to big crowds in Iowa and New Hampshire, but there's something striking about them — there are usually way more men than women at his events. Published January 9, 2012

Newly printed $20 notes are seen at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ** FILE **

U.S. runs in the red for 39th straight month

The federal government ran a deficit in December, marking the 39th straight month in the red, according to preliminary estimates Monday by the Congressional Budget Office, continuing a streak that dates back to the last days of President George W. Bush and encompasses President Obama's entire term. Published January 9, 2012

Rep. Lamar Smith, of Texas and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said President Obama was putting "illegal immigrants ahead of the interests of American citizens and legal immigrants." (Associated Press)

Hardship claim extended for immigration applicants

Moving yet again to streamline the immigration process, the Obama administration on Friday proposed new hardship rules to make it easier for illegal immigrants to apply for legal status and stay in the country if they have a family member who is here legally. Published January 8, 2012

Republican presidential hopeful Buddy Roemer.

No major takers for federal campaign funds

Not a single major candidate has signed up to take taxpayer-supported matching funds for his presidential campaign this year, signaling the death of the system that had controlled campaigns since the Watergate era. Published January 8, 2012

**FILE** Immigrant rights groups and community members rally in Los Angeles on Aug. 15, 2011, for an end to the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Secure Communities Program, which was created in 2008 and calls for police to submit suspects' fingerprints to DHS so they can be cross-checked with federal deportation orders. (Associated Press)

Obama expands 'hardship' waiver for illegal immigrants

The Obama administration on Friday proposed new hardship rules that would make it easier for illegal immigrants to apply for legal status and stay in the country if they have a spouse or parent already living here legally. Published January 6, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum pumps his fist Jan. 4, 2012, during a campaign stop in Manchester, N.H. (Associated Press)

Paul strong in N.H. poll; Romney still dominant

Fresh off his near-win in Iowa, Rick Santorum has lept to 11 percent support among likely New Hampshire GOP primary voters — but he still trails front-runner Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, according to the inaugural Washington Times/JZ Analytics Poll, taken Wednesday. Published January 5, 2012

A member of Rep. Michele Bachmann's team wipes tears from his eyes as the former Republican presidential hopeful hugs family and staff members after announcing in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday that she would end her campaign. She finished sixth in Tuesday's Iowa Republican caucuses. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Iowa takes toll: Bachmann out

Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota ended her presidential bid Wednesday, a day after voters in Iowa, the state in which she was born, left her in sixth place — last of all the major Republican candidates who competed there. Published January 4, 2012

Rep. Michele Bachmann waves goodbye to supporters as she boards her campaign bus on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012, in West Des Moines, Iowa, after announcing she will end her campaign for president. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Bachmann ends campaign after loss in Iowa

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann ended her presidential bid Wednesday, a day after voters in Iowa, her birth state, left her in sixth place — last of all the major Republican candidates who competed here. Published January 4, 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters at his caucus night rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney's Iowa win falls short of 2008 showing

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won Iowa's caucuses by the narrowest of margins, collecting fewer votes than he won here in 2008 — even as the caucuses themselves saw a slight uptick in voters compared with last time. Published January 4, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney holds an early morning rally at the Temple for Performing Arts on the day of the Iowa caucus, Des Moines, IA, Tuesday, January 3, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Iowans press candidates on same issues that concern Republicans across country

Iowa's caucuses may not always pick the eventual presidential nominee, but voters this year did something more helpful to the process: They asked the kinds of tough questions about the economy and spending that are on the minds of Republicans across the country who still have yet to vote. Published January 3, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets residents Jan. 3, 2012, during a caucus day rally at the Temple for Performing Arts in Des Moines, Iowa. (Associated Press)

Romney vs. 'anyone but' in Iowa

Four years after a second-place finish in Iowa's caucuses mortally wounded his campaign, Mitt Romney is counting on the state to write a different story on Tuesday — a win here could go a long way toward sewing up the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. Published January 2, 2012

After a campaign stop at Paula's Maid Rite Restaurant in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday, Michele Bachmann greets Advanced Placement government and history students from Taylor High School of Cincinnati, Ohio. Mrs. Bachmann's husband, Marcus, is at right. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Bachmann defies poll forecasts

If Michele Bachmann's campaign is running on fumes, as the polls seem to suggest, you'd never know it from the crowd of supporters and journalists that filled four shops in West Des Moines Monday afternoon to catch a glimpse of her. Published January 2, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks Jan. 2, 2012, during a campaign stop at the Rising Sun Cafe in Polk City, Iowa. (Associated Press)

Santorum vows end to blaming Obama once in White House

Former Sen. Rick Santorum said Monday that if he wins the presidency he will not blame President Obama but will take responsibility for the country from the first day — contrasting himself with the current president who he said demonizes his political opponents "by name." Published January 2, 2012

Heather Goode served then candidate Barack Obama a slice of pie and a cup of tea when he stopped at the Smokey Row Coffee House while campaigning in late 2007. Iowans have rubbed elbows with many candidates over the years. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Iowans await Obama's pledge to bring change

In the sandwich shops and restaurants of Iowa where Barack Obama built his 2008 victory, new questions have replaced those about his faith: Has the president fulfilled his campaign promises, has he produced the change he promised, and is the country better off? Published January 1, 2012