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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

Romney supporters rally in DeWitt, Mich., on Tuesday. Even among the crowds that turned out to hear Mr. Romney, it was evident that this fall's election will be a referendum on President Obama's first term. (Associated Press)

Anti-Obama sentiment fuels Romney on campaign trail

Mitt Romney's six-state bus swing through small cities and towns in New England, the Rust Belt and the industrial Midwest served as a clear reminder that his biggest ally in the presidential race is also his biggest foe: President Obama. Published June 19, 2012

On a bus tour of Wisconsin that included a stop Monday at Montery Mills in Janesville, Mitt Romney had a carefully modulated response to President Obama's surprise decision on illegal immigrants. (Associated Press)

Immigrant debate shifting under GOP's feet

The muted public reaction to President Obama's immigration decision of last week — and Mitt Romney's carefully modulated response to the surprise order — could signal an unexpected shift in what has been one of the country's thorniest political issues. Published June 18, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks June 18, 2012, during a campaign event at Monterey Mills in Janesville, Wis. (Associated Press)

Romney predicts Wisconsin win

Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney campaigned alongside this state's top Republicans on Monday, declaring that he'll win the Badger State in the general election — a prediction that, if it turns out to be true, would be a bad omen for President Obama's re-election plans. Published June 18, 2012

** FILE ** Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks on Sunday, June 17, 2012, at a campaign event at K's Hamburger Shop in Troy, Ohio. Joining him onstage is Sen. Rob Portman (left), Ohio Republican, and House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican. (Associated Press)

In Ohio, earthy Boehner is a contrast to squeaky clean Romney

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, the clean-cut son of a former governor, and House Speaker John A. Boehner, the cigarette-smoking son of a bar owner, joined forces Sunday, marking the first time this campaign season the two powerful Republicans have shared a stage and the first time they've ever met for burgers. Published June 17, 2012

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney arrives for a campaign stop at Mapleside Farms on Sunday in Brunswick, Ohio. No Republican ever has won the White House without winning the Buckeye State. (Associated Press)

For Romney, road to White House runs through nation's Rust Belt

Mitt Romney is trying to do something that Sen. John McCain, the Republican Party's 2008 presidential nominee, could not shore up enough support among the rural, blue-collar voters in such Rust Belt states as Pennsylvania and Ohio to win the White House. Published June 17, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, arrive June 15, 2012, for a campaign stop at the Scamman Farm in Stratham, N.H. (Associated Press)

Romney to N.H.: You 'don't have to settle' for Obama

Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney kicked off his first traditional campaign trip of the general election Friday by returning to the sprawling New Hampshire farm from where he launched his second presidential bid just over a year ago. Published June 15, 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, delivers a stump speech during a campaign stop at Seilkop Industries in Cincinnati on Thursday. (Associated Press)

Romney on board for battleground bus tour

Mitt Romney is set to launch a six-state bus tour Friday that will carry him through crucial battleground states President Obama captured in the 2008 election — and could offer the presumptive Republican presidential nominee the chance for some unscripted campaign moments. Published June 14, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks June 13, 2012, during the Business Roundtable quarterly meeting at the Newseum in Washington. (Associated Press)

Romney to top CEOs: White House is anti-business

Showering business leaders Wednesday with promises of lower tax rates and a lighter regulatory environment, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney accused President Obama of trying to duck responsibility for embracing policies that have generated the nation's "tepid" economic recovery and left millions of people out of work. Published June 13, 2012

On the campaign trail, presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney tells voters to look at his record as governor in Massachusetts, where he balanced the budget every year. (Associated Press)

Romney's initiatives: Miracles or gimmickry?

Facing a budget deficit of $3 billion when he took over as Massachusetts governor in 2003, Mitt Romney immediately instituted emergency spending cuts, raised fees on items such as birth certificates, gun licenses and boat registrations, and closed corporate tax breaks to solve the shortfall. Published June 10, 2012

Gov. Scott Walker greets prospective voters at the Rock County Dairy Breakfast in Evansville, Wis., on Saturday, in advance of Tuesday's recall vote. Some political analysts say the outcome of that vote could be a harbinger of how the state will go in November's presidential election. (Associated Press)

In Walker recall, road to White House runs through Wisconsin

National Republicans think that if Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker survives his recall election Tuesday, it will be much harder for President Obama to keep the state in the Democratic column in the November election. Published June 3, 2012

Mitt Romney campaigns at the shuttered Solyndra plant in Fremont, Calif., on Thursday. "It's a symbol not of success, but of failure," he said of the company lauded by President Obama that received $535 million in government-backed loan guarantees. (Associated Press)

Romney: Obama didn't risk much in Solyndra — taxpayers did

Standing outside the shuttered California headquarters of Solyndra on Thursday, Mitt Romney said President Obama must answer to voters for the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars he gambled on the politically connected solar technology company, which went belly-up in 2011. Published May 31, 2012

David Axelrod, a strategist for President Obama, addresses a crowd May 31, 2012, in front of the Statehouse in Boston. Axelrod criticized former Massachusetts Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's record as governor of the state during his remarks. (Associated Press)

Presidential camps skirmish in Romney's Bay State backyard

The Obama campaign marched into Mitt Romney's old political backyard of Massachusetts on Thursday to make the case that the GOP nominee's economic approach didn't work during his one-term as governor and won't work as president. Published May 31, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks Tuesday in Craig, Colo., where he lambasted President Obama for his record on job creation and a perceived hostility toward business. (Associated Press)

As Texas ensures GOP nod, Romney campaign takes shape

After clinching the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday in Texas, Mitt Romney has emerged from a bloody primary slog running neck-and-neck with President Obama — putting him in the exact same position as the last two Republicans to lead their party into the general election. Published May 29, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Salina Beattie display work they did together in a sixth grade language arts class during Mr. Romney's visit to Universal Bluford Charter School in West Philadelphia, Pa. His statement that "just getting smaller classrooms didn't seem to be the key" to improving education was challenged. (Associated Press)

Romney downplays value of small class size

Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney's plans for reshaping K-12 education has injected an old debate into the presidential race: Do smaller classroom sizes produce better students? Published May 24, 2012

Former President Bill Clinton (AP photo)

In campaign twist, Romney camp plays Clinton card against Obama

An unlikely battle for Bubba's legacy has broken out in the presidential race, with GOP candidate Mitt Romney praising Bill Clinton's presidency as a bank-shot way to argue that President Obama has "discarded" his Democratic predecessor's wisdom about the end of big government. Published May 24, 2012

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah got a boost in his bid for a seventh term from Sarah Palin, who endorsed the "lifelong conservative" in her SarahPac blog. (Associated Press)

Tea-party target Hatch gets Palin's endorsement

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed Utah Sen. Orrin G. Hatch's re-election bid Wednesday, calling the onetime tea-party target a "lifelong conservative" who has fought for a balanced-budget amendment and for conservative Supreme Court justices. Published May 23, 2012

** FILE ** President Obama cited a respect for states' rights in connection with his "evolution" toward supporting gay marriage. (Associated Press)

Obama, Romney use states' rights as they see fit

The 10th Amendment, the amendment supposedly reserving for the states all powers not explicitly granted to the federal government, gets a lot of rhetorical love on the campaign trail. Published May 20, 2012

** FILE ** In this May 8, 2012, file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks in Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

Ex-presidents factor into Romney's campaign

Mitt Romney, campaigning in battleground state Iowa on Tuesday, scored a long-awaited — if not exactly surprising — endorsement in Washington from the last Republican occupant of the White House. Published May 15, 2012

Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, speaks at the University of California at Berkeley on Thursday, April 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Paul aide: Don't look for a Romney endorsement

Ron Paul's campaign conceded Tuesday he won't win enough delegates to be Republicans' presidential nominee, but says he will continue to try to win supporters to influence the GOP's platform and rules at the August convention. Published May 15, 2012