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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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

Articles by Stephen Dinan

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gets a hug from a patron as he campaigns with his wife Ann during an unscheduled stop at La Teresita, a Cuban restaurant, in Tampa, Fla., Friday, Oct. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney tries personal touch on campaign stump

Fresh off a debate performance he spent highlighting American stories, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Friday peppered his campaign stump speech with those same kinds of personal anecdotes. Published October 5, 2012

Feds end 2012 with $1.1 trillion deficit

The federal government notched a $1.1 trillion deficit in fiscal year 2012 — the fourth straight year over $1 trillion — according to a preliminary estimate that the Congressional Budget Office released Friday. Published October 5, 2012

President Obama takes the stage on Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, during a campaign event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. (Associated Press)

Obama hails job picture; Romney says improvement too slow

President Obama hailed a modest improvement in job growth last month as evidence his policies are working and pleaded with voters not to risk handing control of the country to GOP rival Mitt Romney, whose supply-side economics he said are the same policies that caused the financial crisis. Published October 5, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney boards his campaign plane at Weyers Cave-Shenandoah Valley Airport in Weyers Cave, Va., on Oct. 5, 2012. (Associated Press)

Romney: Jobs growth not enough to re-elect Obama

The jobs picture improved in September, but Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said the fall in the nation's jobless rate still is not enough to justify giving President Obama another term in office. Published October 5, 2012

GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is applauded by sons Josh (center) and Tagg (left) as he speaks Thursday at a Conservative Political Action Conference in Denver. Attendees hailed his debate performance of the night before.  (Associated Press)

Romney energizes GOP base with debate showdown

Far from running to the political middle, Republican nominee Mitt Romney used this week's first presidential debate to embrace exactly the same kinds of spending cuts he talked about throughout the GOP primary, including backing trims that House Republicans tried to push through Congress last year. Published October 4, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets supporters Oct. 4, 2012, as he takes the stage during a rally at the Augusta Expoland in Fishersville with running mate Paul Ryan. (Associated Press/Michael Reilly, Daily News-Record)

Romney energizes GOP base with debate showdown

Far from running to the political middle, Republican nominee Mitt Romney used this week's first presidential debate to embrace exactly the same kinds of spending cuts he talked about throughout the GOP primary, including backing trims that House Republicans tried to push through Congress last year. Published October 4, 2012

President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney participate Oct. 3, 2012, in the first presidential debate at the University of Denver in Denver. (Associated Press)

Romney attacks Obama's 'trickle down government' in first debate

Claiming he's the true champion of a middle class that's being "crushed" under President Obama, Mitt Romney went straight at the president Wednesday in the first debate of the campaign, saying his four years in office have doubled the deficit and left the economy gasping. Published October 3, 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

** FILE ** Trays of printed Social Security checks wait to be mailed from the U.S. Treasury's Financial Management Services facility in Philadelphia in 2005. (Associated Press)

Social Security deficit deepens

Social Security ran a 4 percent deficit last year, and that gap will only increase over the next decade, according to a Congressional Budget Office report Tuesday that said the system is facing growing deficits for the foreseeable future. Published October 2, 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

President Obama speaks Sept. 30, 2012, during a campaign event at Desert Pines High School in Las Vegas. (Associated Press)

Obama widens lead, confidence against Romney

President Obama has opened a sizable lead over Mitt Romney in polling ahead of the election as both Democrats and Republicans are increasingly convinced that he is going to win re-election, according to The Washington Times/Zogby Poll released Sunday. Published September 30, 2012

**FILE** Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano

DHS grants gay partners discretion in deportation cases

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said this week gay and lesbian partners will be considered as family members when immigration agents are trying to decide whether or not to try to deport someone from the U.S. Published September 28, 2012

Nader: Obama running ‘selfish’ race

Ralph Nader, a four-time presidential candidate, says President Obama should be poised for a landslide victory that swings control of Congress dramatically back to Democrats, but instead he's running a "selfish" campaign that has done little to help his party on Capitol Hill. Published September 27, 2012

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican (AP Photo)

Senators join suit over Obama's constitutional powers

Republican senators on Wednesday joined a lawsuit arguing President Obama violated the Constitution when he used his recess appointment powers earlier this year to fill several controversial posts. Published September 26, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks Sept. 25, 2012, at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. (Associated Press)

Romney takes aim at foreign aid, ties future aid to trade

Seeking to carve out foreign-policy differences with President Obama, rival Mitt Romney on Tuesday said he wants to impose a bargain on countries seeking U.S. foreign aid: open economies to trade and investment in exchange for American taxpayers' generosity. Published September 25, 2012

In this July 13, 2011 photo, Amish women shop at an Amish-owned country store in Centerville, N.Y. Centerville, a town south of Buffalo, has an established Amish community. Longstanding Amish population centers in Pennsylvania and Ohio have lost families while Amish numbers in New York have boomed in the past two years, according to a new study by Elizabethtown College researchers. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

Amish, N.Y. town reach settlement over building codes

A New York town has agreed to drop criminal charges against an Amish community that had balked at following modern building codes for their homes by adding such features as bigger windows and smoke detectors — something the traditional sect members argued violate its religious beliefs. Published September 24, 2012

**FILE** Immigrants applying for driver's licenses wait at the doors of the Beltsville, Md., branch of Maryland's Motor Vehicle Administration in 2006. (The Washington Times)

States make fake IDs quick and easy

Federal investigators were able to get fraudulent driver's licenses in all three states where they tried, according to a report released Friday that shows continued problems with states' ID programs more than 11 years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks highlighted the problem. Published September 23, 2012