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Seth McLaughlin

Seth McLaughlin, a reporter on the Politics Desk, can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @SethMcLaughlin1

Articles by Seth McLaughlin

Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon (Associated Press)

Florida prepared to jump line in GOP primary order

Defying national party officials, a top Florida Republican said Wednesday that the Sunshine State is on the verge of jumping the line and holding its presidential primary Jan. 31, as states jockey to move up in the calendar to increase their influence and clout. Published September 28, 2011

GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks to delegates before a straw poll during the Florida Republican Party Presidency 5 Convention on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Herman Cain wins GOP Florida straw poll; Rick Perry in second place

Former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain won the Presidency 5 straw poll in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, delivering a blow to Texas Gov. Rick Perry's front-runner status and a victory for a candidate who has struggled to transform his grass-roots popularity into strong showings in national polls. Published September 24, 2011

Romney keeps after Perry on immigration

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney pressed his attack Friday on conservative concerns over presidential rival Rick Perry's support of favorable tuition rates for some children of illegal immigrants, hitting the three-term Texas governor's claim that critics of the law are simply heartless. Published September 23, 2011

Perry's support of tuition for children of illegals puts him in GOP cross hairs

Rick Perry went out on a limb Thursday by refusing to back off his support as Texas governor for granting in-state tuition to some of the children of illegal immigrants, and painting critics of the law as heartless — remarks that landed him in the cross hairs of his GOP rivals. Published September 23, 2011

Mitt Romney talks to a supporter after a town-hall meeting in Miami on Wednesday. He discussed his plans to improve the economy and create jobs. (Associated Press)

Romney, Perry take political feud to Florida debate

Rick Perry and Mitt Romney played a rhetorical badminton game in the debate in Orlando, Fla., Thursday, with the two Republican presidential front-runners trading barbs over Social Security, illegal immigration and jobs. Published September 22, 2011

Romney, Perry gear up for Round 3

Mitt Romney and Rick Perry have ratcheted up their attacks before Thursday’s debate in Florida. Published September 22, 2011

Liberals vow to challenge Obama in Democratic primaries

Worried the liberal voice is being drowned out in the presidential campaign, progressive leaders said Monday they want to field a slate of candidates against President Obama in the Democratic primaries to make him stake out liberal stances as he seeks re-election. Published September 19, 2011

State record on jobs is no guarantee as president

Gov. Rick Perry says that on his watch Texas has created more than 1 million jobs. Former Gov. Mitt Romney touts turning job losses into gains in Massachusetts. Former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. boasts that his job-growth credentials in Utah trump them both. But records from recent governors turned president show it's difficult to re-create gubernatorial success on a national level. Published September 18, 2011

Trying new pitch, Romney stirs old core-belief doubts

Already dogged by a reputation for political shifts on the campaign trail, Mitt Romney is once again honing a new sales pitch to voters, now casting himself as a real-world "conservative businessman." Published September 8, 2011

Texas Gov. Rick Perry arrives for a Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., on Wednesday. Mr. Perry introduced himself to a national audience and appeared with his GOP rivals on the same stage for the first time since entering the race last month.

Do or die for GOP hopefuls

With three more presidential debates scheduled and a quarterly fundraising report due, the next five weeks loom as do-or-die time for some of the lesser GOP candidates trying to make enough of an impression to stay in the race. Published September 7, 2011

** FILE ** Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican on the campaign trail in Freedom, N.H. (Associated Press)

Paul: Perry's not really conservative

Republican presidential contender Ron Paul, for the second day in a row, criticized Rick Perry's record as a conservative and cast the Texas governor as a wolf in sheep's clothing. Published September 7, 2011

GOP rivals test bounds of Reagan's admonition

President Reagan's famous "11th Commandment" — Republicans shalt not speak ill of fellow Republicans — is being sorely tested in the heat of the 2012 presidential sweepstakes. Published September 6, 2011

Romney invitation divides the tea party

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's appearance at an upcoming tea party rally is creating a rift between different arms of the grass-roots movement, with one side arguing that Mr. Romney "is an establishment hack posing as an outsider." Published August 31, 2011

Romney criticizes Obama's push to cut defense spending

Mitt Romney told the nation's oldest major veterans organization Tuesday that the Obama administration's push to cut defense spending is based on either a misguided belief that the world is becoming a safer place or a wrongheaded notion that the United States should "become a lesser power." Published August 30, 2011

Rep. Michele Bachmann waves goodbye to a small group of supporters in the parking lot of Calistoga Bakery Cafe in Naples, Fla., on Monday after a brief campaign stop. (Naples (Fla.) Daily News via Associated Press)

Bachmann claims vital crossover support, but shows little evidence

Rep. Michele Bachmann says she is winning the kind of crossover support from disgruntled Democrats and independents that will be needed to defeat President Obama next year, but pollsters and political analysts don't think the claim — at least for now — pans out. Published August 29, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican (Associated Press)

White House hopefuls praise Libya's rebels, but not Obama's role

The Republican presidential field showered praise on the Libyan rebels and described the collapse of Col. Moammar Gadhafi's regime as a victory for freedom and a "cause for cautious celebration" Monday, but steered clear of giving the Obama administration any credit for military intervention there. Published August 22, 2011

GOP rivals say Obama faltered on Assad

Republican White House hopefuls are attacking President Obama's response to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad's bloody, five-month crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, saying the commander in chief wasted valuable time in mulling the situation. Published August 21, 2011