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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

Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, delivers the commencement address at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., on Saturday. (Associated Press)

Gay marriage gives Romney chance to fire up base

While many Republicans consider the sudden emergence of gay marriage as an issue in the 2012 presidential campaign an unhelpful distraction, social conservatives Sunday insisted the Obama administration has given presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney an opportunity. Published May 13, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, prays before his commencement address at the Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va, Saturday, May 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Romney backs traditional marriage at Liberty University

Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney assured the thousands of conservative Christians gathered for the graduation ceremony at Liberty University, the school founded by evangelical icon Jerry Falwell, that he stands with them on traditional marriage. Published May 12, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, talks with chief strategist Stuart Stevens on his campaign bus as they drive from Naples, Fla., to Hialeah, Fla., Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney's team starts to look like Bush's

Mitt Romney's corps of advisers is heavily salted with figures who surrounded President George W. Bush as he watched over massive increases in federal spending, the creation of more government programs and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the nation-building efforts that followed. Published May 10, 2012

Prospective Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney campaigns Tuesday in Lansing, Mich. The former Massachusetts governor has tried to reach out to Hispanics with an economic message, arguing that they have lost 300,000 jobs on the Obama administration's watch. (Associated Press)

'Still deciding' does damage to Romney's Hispanic reach

The difficulties Mitt Romney faces in wooing Hispanic voters this year were underscored Tuesday when the Republicans' top Hispanic outreach official said the former Massachusetts governor is "still deciding" his position on immigration. Published May 8, 2012

President Obama speaks at the State University of New York's Nano-Tech complex in Albany, N.Y., on Tuesday, May 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Daily Gazette, Patrick Dodson)

Obama denies presiding over 'bloated government'

After presiding over three consecutive years of trillion-dollar deficits, President Obama told an audience in New York on Tuesday not to believe critics who accuse him of running a "bloated government." Published May 8, 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, speaks at a town-hall-style meeting in Euclid, Ohio, on Monday, May 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

GOP Hispanic outreach hits snag

Republicans underscored their difficulties in wooing Latino voters in this year's elections on Tuesday when the party's top Hispanic outreach official said it was unclear what likely presidential nominee Mitt Romney's stance would be on the critical issue of immigration. Published May 8, 2012

** FILE ** In this Feb. 22, 2012, photo Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, talks with fellow candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, after a presidential debate in Arizona. On Monday night, May 7, 2012, Santorum endorsed Romney, saying "above all else" they agree that Obama must be defeated. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Romney wins Santorum endorsement

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum endorsed Mitt Romney for president Monday night in an email to supporters, assuring them that he's convinced the former Massachusetts governor with fight for the issues important to social conservatives, tea party members and working families. Published May 7, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks May 7, 2012, at a town hall style meeting in Euclid, Ohio. (Associated Press)

Romney hits at Obama on jobs

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Monday that the Obama administration is misleading the public into thinking that the dip in the national unemployment rate proves the Democrat's economic policies are working. Published May 7, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds a towel next to his, wife Ann, before an NBA first-round playoff series basketball game between the Boston Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks in Boston, Sunday, May 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Romney needs to get small donors hooked

If Mitt Romney hopes to go toe-to-toe this fall with President Obama, the former Massachusetts governor needs to show he can fish for small-dollar donors as well as reeling in the big-cash catch. Published May 6, 2012

** FILE ** Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at the Hilton Arlington in Arlington, Va., May 2, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Gingrich exits campaign, gives tepid nod to Romney

Vowing to stay involved in the national political conversation, an at-times-emotional Newt Gingrich closed the curtain on his Republican presidential bid Wednesday, ending an up-and-down campaign that saw the former House speaker re-establish himself on the national political stage and rack up millions of dollars in campaign debt along the way. Published May 2, 2012

Newt Gingrich (Associated Press)

Gingrich to end turbulent presidential bid

Newt Gingrich will officially pull the plug on his presidential bid Wednesday, marking the end of a roller-coaster candidacy that dove into and out of debt — and into and out of contention during the bloody Republican nomination race. Published May 1, 2012

Voters of all stripes say the economy and job growth are their top priorities, something that Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney sees as an advantage in his bid to unseat the incumbent president. (Associated Press)

When hit by Obama, Romney's reply is 'jobs'

When it comes to tailoring his message, Mitt Romney has adopted a one-size-fits-all philosophy: There's little that his economic message can't do. Published April 26, 2012

** FILE ** In this March 28, 2012, file photo Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, waits to speak at Georgetown University in Washington. Gingrich is today millions in debt and describing Mitt Romney as "far and away the most likely" GOP nominee. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)

Newt Gingrich to suspend his campaign

Newt Gingrich plans to suspend his presidential campaign, following another poor showing in this week's Republican primary contests. Published April 25, 2012

A worker irons a banner ahead of a rally for Mitt Romney, a GOP presidential candidate, in Manchester, N.H., on Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Sweep has Romney looking to November

Signaling that he now considers the Republican presidential primary season over, a triumphant Mitt Romney returned Tuesday to New Hampshire — the site where he kicked off his campaign 10 months ago — to urge his supporters and those who backed his GOP rivals to rally behind his effort to defeat President Obama this fall. Published April 24, 2012

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney (right) talks to reporters on Monday, April 23, 2012, as he is joined by Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, during a news conference before a town-hall-style meeting in Aston, Pa. (Associated Press)

Romney, Rubio stump in Pennsylvania

Mitt Romney, campaigning Monday with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, told Pennsylvania supporters that while Tuesday's Republican primary is important, next fall's showdown with President Obama is the real battle. Published April 23, 2012

Campaign 2012's silly season in full swing

Dogs on roofs, dogs on the menu, wars on women, bureaucrats behaving badly — with the drama largely drained from the Republican nominating race and not much on the schedule until August, the campaign's silly season has begun in earnest. Published April 22, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign stop in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, April 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Romney camp makes pitch for Hispanic vote

Mitt Romney's campaign said Friday that the nation's Hispanics are worse off today than they were before President Obama took office — as the former Massachusetts governor tries to improve his image with what it shaping up as a key electoral voting bloc. Published April 20, 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican presidential candidate, gives the thumbs-up to supporters at a campaign stop in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday. Mr. Romney is in demand on the campaign trail as candidates for the Senate and House seek his help on the stump. (Associated Press)

Romney in demand with GOP hopefuls on the stump

While some Democrats have made it clear that they would rather not be seen with President Obama on the campaign trail this fall, likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney doesn't appear to face the same problem. Published April 18, 2012

Democrats are going after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney by saying he is hiding the true political agenda he would pursue if elected president. They say he been all over the map on the issues and has exhibited a "penchant for secrecy." (Associated Press)

Democrats say Romney the one who hides

After accusing President Obama of keeping his real second-term agenda out of the public eye, Mitt Romney found himself on the receiving end of a similar line of attack from Democrats, who said the former Massachusetts governor is the one hiding his true political colors. Published April 16, 2012

GOP chief: Economy key to winning Hispanic vote

The chairman of the Republican National Committee said Monday that the key to winning over Hispanic voters this year is to convince them that President Obama has failed to strengthen their economic prospects — not by pandering to them with promises of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Published April 16, 2012