The Note’s Must-Reads for Thursday, June 30, 2011

Jun 30, 2011 3:45am

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates and Jacqueline Ng Fernandez, Jayce Henderson, Alicia Tejada and Desk Assistant Amanda VanAllen

PRESIDENT OBAMA
New York Daily News’ Thomas Defrank and Corky Siemaszko: “President Obama says New York's historic vote allowing same sex marriage is 'a good thing'” In his first press conference since March, President Obama on Wednesday called New York's historic decision to legalize gay marriage "a good thing." "That's exactly how things should work," Obama said, referring to the contentious state-wide debate that preceded the final vote. LINK

2012 ELECTIONS
Politico’s Glenn Thrush and Carrie Budoff Brown: “Obama frames 2012 Campaign” One of President Barack Obama’s 2012 themes will likely revolve around what his aides call “the contrast” — a portrayal of Obama as a responsible, moderate adult harassed by infantile Republicans who favor the wealthy. During his East Room press conference Wednesday — his first since the kickoff of the 2012 Republican campaign — Obama drew that comparison in the starkest terms to date, likening veteran politicians in their 40s, 50s and 60s to his young daughters, Sasha and Malia. LINK

USA Today’s Jackie Kucinich: “Interest groups use the power of the political pledge”  Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman doesn't sign pledges, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty does and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney recently received criticism from the right for not signing one, but then received praise for signing two others.  LINK

Wall Street Journal’s Vauhini Vara and Jacob Gershman: “Why Cuomo Is Sailing and Brown Becalmed” Two governors: Each is the Democratic son of a former governor. Each vowed to change his state's dysfunctional government. Each faced a huge budget deficit, powerful public-employee unions and Republican legislators with enough votes to resist tax increases. LINK

Los Angeles Times’ Melanie Mason and Kim Geiger: “Presidential candidates race to raise cash” Though the first Republican voting is six months away, and the general election further still, the presidential campaigns were faced this week with one imperative: to raise the most cash possible before the financial quarter draws to a close Thursday. The crunch left people like Bobbie Kilberg, a fundraiser for Republican front-runner Mitt Romney, courting potential donors for a Wednesday event in northern Virginia. If a would-be contributor claimed a scheduling conflict, Kilberg asked not just for a rain check, but the real thing. LINK

NATIONAL DEBT
ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe: “Obama Tells Republicans No Deficit Reduction Without Tax Hikes” President Obama today ripped Republicans for refusing to accept tax hikes , even for the wealthiest Americans, as part of any deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling beyond $14.29 trillion.  "You can't reduce the deficit to the levels that it needs to be reduced without having some revenue in the mix," the president told a White House news conference after a breakdown in administration negotiations with Congress on reaching a debt-ceiling deal while at the same time reducing soaring deficits. LINK

The New York Times’ Mark Landler: “In Deficit Plan, Taxes Must Rise, President Warns” WASHINGTON — President Obama pressured Republicans on Wednesday to accept higher taxes as part of any plan to pare down the federal deficit, bluntly telling lawmakers that they “need to do their job” and strike a deal before the United States risks defaulting on its debt. LINK

The Washington Post’s Peter Wallsten and Zachary Goldfarb: “Obama uses combative new tone to retake reins on economic, foreign policy issues” President Obama belittled congressional Republicans for taking vacations amid difficult deficit-reduction talks. He contrasted lawmakers with his young daughters. And he brushed off criticism of his Libya policy as a “fuss” that is all about politics. LINK

The Hills’ Sam Youngman: “Obama uses presser to hit GOP on taxes, debt and leadership” An aggressive President Obama castigated Republicans on taxes, the debt ceiling and not doing more to create jobs Wednesday in his first news conference in months. In an animated appearance before reporters, Obama scoffed at the notion that he has lacked leadership on the debt talks, and challenged Congress to stay in Washington until more progress is made. LINK

Washington Time’s Sean Lengell: “GOP boosts push for balanced-budget amendment” Capitol Hill Republicans have amped up their push for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, a move that comes as Congress and the White House are struggling to find common ground to reduce the nation’s ballooning deficit. LINK  

The Washington Post’s Rosalind Helderman and Felicia Sonmez: “Republicans, Democrats plotting strategies that will hinder budget agreement” As President Obama made the case Wednesday for moving swiftly to approve a deficit-reduction deal that includes tax increases, lawmakers in both parties plotted strategies that could make it difficult to find common ground. LINK

HEALTH CARE
Bloomberg’s Andrew Harris and Greg Stohr: “Obama Health-Care Overhaul to be Appealed to Supreme Court, Lawyer Says” A U.S. appeals court upheld President Barack Obama’s health-care reform act, setting the stage for a request that the Supreme Court review claims that the law violates the Constitution.  The Cincinnati-based Court of Appeals voted 2-1 yesterday to reject a challenge to the legislation by the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Thomas More Law Center, a Christian-based public interest law firm, which contended Congress exceeded its power in imposing the individual mandate. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS:
Obama Compares Congress to Sasha and MaliaLINK
President Obama on Gay RightsLINK

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