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Seth McLaughlin

Seth McLaughlin, a reporter on the Politics Desk, can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @SethMcLaughlin1

Articles by Seth McLaughlin

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks in Tunkhannock, Pa., on Thursday, April 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

NRA seeking 'reassurance' from Romney

When Mitt Romney speaks to the National Rifle Association on Friday it will bring into focus a major difference between him and President Obama: One is counting on Second Amendment voters to show up at the polls, while the other has sidestepped gun-related issues in the run-up to the election. Published April 12, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is interviewed by Martha MacCallum, co-anchor of "America's Newsroom" on the Fox News Channel in New York, Wednesday, April 11, 2012. On Tuesday, Romney made clear that he would assault Obama's character as well, saying the president is not inept at economic policy, but he actively dislikes business. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Social conservatives looking for a reason to love Romney

Social conservatives who backed Rick Santorum's presidential campaign said his supporters will get behind Mitt Romney, but warned that the presumptive Republican nominee still has a lot more to do if he wants those activists to man phone banks and knock on doors in the drive to win in November. Published April 11, 2012

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign stop at R.C. Fabricators on Tuesday in Wilmington, Del., where he met with a group of female business owners. R.C. Fabricators designs and erects structural steel. (Associated Press)

It's game on, with Obama as Romney's rival

The general-election campaign unofficially kicked off Tuesday with Mitt Romney continuing to sharpen his criticism of President Obama, saying a second term for the incumbent would be dangerous because he is not being upfront about the policies he plans to pursue. Published April 10, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum sits April 4, 2012, in a booth at Bob's Diner in Carnegie, Pa. (Associated Press)

For Santorum, Pennsylvania is a double-edged sword

Rick Santorum is in a difficult place politically in his home state of Pennsylvania, where he hopes to revive his flagging presidential bid. A win for the state's former two-term senator in the April 24 primary wouldn't shock the world, while a loss to rival Mitt Romney could stick a fork in his White House hopes. Published April 5, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, shakes hands with a patron at Bob's Diner in Carnegie, Pa., on Wednesday, April 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Santorum plans on winning home state of Pennsylvania

Despite another disappointing primary night this week, Rick Santorum wants to remind Mitt Romney and GOP leaders that the presidential nomination is not sewn up and that this month's Pennsylvania primary is his campaign's make-or-break contest. Published April 4, 2012

Corey Essler, a volunteer for former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a Republican presidential candidate, holds up a sign to woo voters in Menasha, Wis., on Monday. "You have the opportunity to shock the world," Mr. Santorum said. (Associated Press)

Romney seeks sweep to knock out Santorum

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney delivered his closing argument to Wisconsin voters as he looked to land a knockout blow against Rick Santorum's presidential dreams by sweeping the three nomination contests Tuesday. Published April 2, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks April 1, 2012, to a crowd at a town-hall style campaign event in Madison, Wis. (Associated Press)

As Romney nears nod, GOP base nods off

Pledges of support from powerful Republicans last week may have edged Mitt Romney closer to the GOP presidential nomination, but the former Massachusetts governor still struggles to fire the imaginations of most in his party — even the coveted endorsements from former President George H.W. Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida seemed underwhelming in tone. Published April 1, 2012

House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, speaks March 29, 2012, during a news conference on Capitol Hill after Republicans pushed an election-year, $3.5 trillion budget through the House. (Associated Press)

Ryan endorses Romney for GOP nomination

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan endorsed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Friday, landing the former Massachusetts governor another high-profile supporter as the party starts to rally behind him in hopes of ending the bloody nomination race. Published March 30, 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican presidential candidate, meets with former President George H.W. Bush in Houston on Thursday to receive his endorsement. Mr. Bush, who talked with the hopeful in his office, called Mr. Romney a "good man" who would "make a great president." (Associated Press)

George H.W. Bush, Marco Rubio endorse Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney collected endorsements from an ex-president and one of the GOP's biggest up-and-coming stars this week as powerhouse Republicans said the race for the party's nomination is essentially over and urged voters to get behind the former Massachusetts governor. Published March 29, 2012


Rubio backs Romney's presidential bid

Sen. Marco Rubio threw his support behind Mitt Romney's presidential campaign on Wednesday and pushed back against the other candidates' plans to fight until the national convention this summer - handing the former Massachusetts governor a major endorsement from one of the stars of the conservative movement. Published March 28, 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (right), front-runner for the GOP presidential nod, seen here Dec. 1 with former President George H.W. Bush in Houston, will get Mr. Bush's formal endorsement Thursday.  (Associated Press)

Romney rivals seen 'tilting at windmills' in convention ploy

A sneak attack at the convention, the plan that Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are counting on to win the Republican presidential nomination, is far-fetched in the eyes of state party officials who say that Mitt Romney will be nominated even if he goes into the convention with only a plurality of delegates. Published March 28, 2012

Mitt Romney has said he won't abandon the conservative positions he took in the Republican primaries, including those on illegal immigration. (Associated Press)

Romney faces hurdle gaining Hispanic votes

GOP front-runner Mitt Romney's pledge to stick to the positions he has taken on the primary trail could hurt him in a general election matchup with President Obama, particularly with Hispanic voters over the question of immigration. Published March 27, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum leaves after speaking to reporters in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington on Monday, March 26, 2012, as the court hears oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Louisiana win steels resolve of Santorum to stay in race

Fresh off a big win in Saturday's Louisiana primary, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum on Sunday hammered front-runner Mitt Romney by painting him as "the worst candidate" the party could put up against President Obama. Published March 25, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum speaks at the AFP Defending the Dream Conference in Milwaukee on Saturday, March 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Santorum wins Republican presidential primary in Louisiana

Rick Santorum won the Republican primary in Louisiana on Saturday, giving the former Pennsylvania senator additional crowing rights going forward in the GOP presidential fight and further cementing him as the biggest rival to front-runner Mitt Romney. Published March 24, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum greets supporters March 21, 2012, after a rally in Mandeville, La. (Associated Press)

Poll: Santorum poised for big win in Louisiana

A new Rasmussen Reports polls gives GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum a double-digit lead going into the Louisiana primary on Saturday, putting the former Pennsylvania senator on solid footing to carry some additional bragging rights out of another Deep South nominating contest. Published March 22, 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a GOP presidential hopeful, addresses an audience during a campaign stop at an American Legion post in Arbutus, Md., on Wednesday. (Associated Press)

Evangelical states sketchy for Romney

Mitt Romney's lopsided victory in Illinois this week showed again that he's hard to beat in states with more moderate, less evangelical-minded voters — a good sign for the former Massachusetts governor when that describes most of the big prizes left on the Republican primary schedule. Published March 21, 2012

** FILE ** Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at the Hispanic Leadership Network conference on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Surging Mitt Romney wins endorsement from Jeb Bush

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush endorsed Mitt Romney for president on Wednesday, a day after the former Massachusetts governor's lopsided victory in the Illinois Republican primary. Published March 21, 2012

Hyde Park embraces old neighbor, shuns GOP

President Obama still has boatloads of fans — and seemingly no political enemies — in his old backyard of Hyde Park, the neighborhood from where he launched the political career that eventually landed him in the White House. Published March 20, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney reacts while greeting supporters at a rally in Schaumburg, Ill., after the winning the Illinois Republican presidential primary, Tuesday, March 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Illinois win moves Romney closer to inevitability

Mitt Romney notched another victory in the Republican primaries on Tuesday, defeating Rick Santorum in Illinois and adding to the growing sense of inevitability that he will be the nominee to face President Obama in the fall. Published March 20, 2012

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, speaking at the University of Chicago, said some of the nation's foremost inventors of an earlier era would have suffocated under the weight of the regulatory burden of today's federal government. (Associated Press)

Romney rallies for 'economic freedom'

Mitt Romney focused his attacks Monday on President Obama as he campaigned ahead of the Illinois primary, while his chief rival for the GOP nomination — Rick Santorum — blasted the former Massachusetts governor's health care record and predicted that delegates will reject him if the race lasts until this summer's convention. Published March 19, 2012