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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

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (right) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich share a laugh and acknowledge the audience before the first New Hampshire Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester on Monday. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota (left), officially declared her candidacy during the evening. (Associated Press)

GOP candidates for president don’t embrace Bush years

The Republican field of White House hopefuls have been gun-shy about mentioning President George W. Bush by name, but they've been more than happy about taking aim at his policies - a strategy that suggests the smartest way to become the 45th president is to run away from the 43rd. Published June 16, 2011

Republican debaters target Obama

Together onstage for the first New Hampshire debate of the 2012 presidential campaign, the Republican field of candidates Monday took aim at President Obama, saying that despite trillions of dollars of spending and tax breaks, he has left the country in what one called "the Obama depression." Published June 13, 2011

N.H. politics requires personal touch

With no clear front-runner in the Republican field, New Hampshire's first debate of the primary campaign season on Monday will provide a platform for all of the candidates to introduce — in some cases reintroduce — themselves to voters and to begin to lay out the reasons why they are a cut above the rest of the pack. Published June 12, 2011

Pawlenty proposes deep cuts in federal spending, tax rates

Republican presidential contender Tim Pawlenty rolled out his plan to boost economic growth Tuesday, calling on Congress to dramatically alter the nation's tax system and to enact sweeping cuts in federal spending - all part of his broader push to woo conservatives in the party primaries. Published June 7, 2011

Santorum joins 2012 GOP fray

Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania officially began his 2012 presidential race Monday, carrying with him a strong record as a social conservative and a message of fiscal restraint that he hopes to ride into the White House. Published June 6, 2011

Trump, Cain fire up Faith-Freedom crowd

Donald Trump threatened a third-party presidential run, Herman Cain and Israeli lawmaker Danny Danon stirred up the crowd, and Jon Huntsman Jr. and Tim Pawlenty got polite receptions at the second annual Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington. Published June 5, 2011

Romney’s in; Mormon faith still a hurdle

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney announced Thursday that he will once again seek the Republican presidential nomination, but four years after his first bid, analysts say he will once again face the same unique hurdle: his Mormon religion. Published June 2, 2011

For former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, neighboring New Hampshire could make or break his GOP presidential campaign, which kicks off Thursday.

In N.H., Romney looks ahead with benefit of hindsight

When former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney kicks off his presidential campaign Thursday, his choice of New Hampshire says everything about the importance of the state that shattered his White House dreams in 2008 and could very well make or break his second campaign. Published June 1, 2011

Former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin looks back at a crowd as she walks to the door of Trump Tower for a scheduled meeting with Donald Trump in New York Tuesday, May 31, 2011. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle/File)

GOP presidential field needs excitement

In a Republican presidential field where no top-tier candidate offers a flawless resume, the question facing GOP primary voters is whether they can find a diamond in the rough — a standard-bearer who embodies the party's conservative backbone and can give President Obama a run for his money. Published May 31, 2011

Palin bus tour seen by some as a signal

With many conservatives dissatisfied with the GOP field of White House hopefuls, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is taking steps - including a bus tour - that appear to be setting her up for a presidential bid. Published May 26, 2011

Kathy Hochul

Dem chief: House is ‘in play’ for 2012

The head of the Democratic campaign arm in the House said Thursday that the party's upset win in Tuesday's special congressional election for a New York House seat shows that the lower chamber is up for grabs in the next election. Published May 26, 2011

N.Y. vote has GOP rethinking Medicare

A day after watching Democrats use Republicans' Medicare plan to score an upset victory in a special congressional election in New York, the GOP regrouped, retooled its message and saw most of its troops rally behind the plan in a key test Senate vote. Published May 25, 2011

Pawlenty urges freeze on federal salaries, will counter Ryan plan

Appearing in Washington for the first time since announcing his presidential bid, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said salaries of federal employees should be frozen temporarily until they fall in line with the earning levels of their private sector counterparts. Published May 25, 2011

Ryan stands firm on Medicare after N.Y. vote

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan pushed back Wednesday against critics eager to cast the result of Tuesday's special election in New York as a stiff rebuke of his plan to curb the cost of Medicare. Published May 25, 2011

Kathy Hochul

Democrat wins 3-way race for House seat from N.Y.

Democrat Kathy Hochul pulled off a stunning, come-from-behind victory Tuesday night in New York's 26th Congressional District in a race that was billed as a proxy fight over the GOP's plans to change Medicare. Published May 24, 2011

GOP 2012 hopefuls atoning for flaws

The GOP presidential field is firming up, and all the major White House hopefuls have something in common besides a desire to defeat President Obama: Each has on his resume a violation of conservative orthodoxy certain to anger primary voters. Published May 23, 2011

Associated Press photographs
A former Democrat, Jack Davis, is running as a tea party candidate in the race, complicating for Republicans what should be an easy seat to hold.

Election seen as test for Ryan, Medicare

A special congressional election in western New York on Tuesday could offer an early answer to one of the key questions of the 2012 election cycle: Will Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to reshape Medicare cost the GOP at the ballot box? Published May 22, 2011

His current position "allows me to have a greater impact in averting this debt-fueled economic crisis than if I were to run for the United States Senate," said Rep. Paul Ryan (top). His decision clears the way for former Gov. Tommy Thompson (above).

Pass by Ryan still leaves Democrats in tough spot

Rising GOP star Rep. Paul Ryan is taking a pass on next year's open Senate race in Wisconsin, but that doesn't make the contest any easier for the Democratic Party, which is facing an uphill slog in a slew of battles across the Midwest. Published May 17, 2011