The Note’s Must-Reads for Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Jul 12, 2011 3:57am

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates Jayce Henderson, Jacqueline Fernandez and Desk Assistant Erin McLaughlin

PRESIDENT OBAMA / BUDGET DEAL:
The New York Times’ Jackie Calmes: “Obama Grasping Centrist Banner in Debt Impasse” President Obama made no apparent headway on Monday in his attempt to forge a crisis-averting budget deal, but he put on full display his effort to position himself as a pragmatic centrist willing to confront both parties and address intractable problems. LINK

The Washington Post’s Lori Montgomery: “Partisan divide on debt talks growing deeper; Obama says he won’t accept stopgap plan” Talks between President Obama and congressional Republicans grew increasingly contentious on Monday, as GOP leaders flatly rejected his call to raise taxes on the wealthy as part of a bipartisan agreement to restrain the nation’s mounting debt. LINK

The Washington Post’s Dan Balz: “In debt-ceiling talks, Obama tries to keep his balance” With House Speaker John A. Boehner’s decision to back away from a “grand bargain” on the budget, President Obama may be forced to recalibrate his goals and his strategy to show that he can bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion. LINK

Wall Street Journal’s Carol E. Lee and Janet Hook: “President’s Focus: $4 Trillion” The White House and congressional leaders made no progress Monday toward reaching a deficit-reduction deal that would clear the way for raising the federal borrowing limit in less than three weeks. LINK

The Hill’s Russell Berman: “Strained relationship of Cantor, Boehner put to the test in debt debate” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) does not wield the Speaker’s gavel, but he appears to hold a veto pen in the Republican conference. At a White House summit last Thursday, the GOP leader objected to the outlines of a grand bargain Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) had been negotiating with President Obama, saying that neither he nor House Republicans would support a proposal that included more than $1 trillion in tax increases. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Christi Parsons and Lisa Mascaro: “Debt talks get testy as Obama raises pressure” Reporting from Washington— President Obama called congressional leaders to the White House for a third day of talks Tuesday after a testy afternoon meeting Monday failed to bridge any of the wide differences separating Democrats and Republicans over taxes, spending and entitlement programs. LINK

Bloomberg's Mike Dorning and Heidi Przybyla: "Obama Seeks Grand Bargain on Debt” President Barack Obama pushed back against Republican efforts to focus on a scaled-down deficit deal, arguing for a broader package of spending cuts and tax increases to put the U.S. on a sounder long-term fiscal footing. “Now is the time to deal with these issues,” Obama said at a White House news conference yesterday before resuming talks with congressional leaders on reducing deficits and raising the $14.3 trillion U.S. debt ceiling before the government exhausts its borrowing authority on Aug. 2. LINK

Politico’s David Rogers: “As Obama negotiates in public, GOP digs in” Republicans dug in deeper against adding tax revenues to any deficit reduction package Monday, suggesting that just voting for a debt ceiling increase qualifies as “shared sacrifice” and even taunting President Barack Obama by saying that if he feels compelled to pay more taxes, “he can write a check anytime he wants.” That last remark came from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who has pushed past Speaker John Boehner as the public spokesman for the House GOP in recent days while also reasserting himself in negotiating sessions on the debt issue at the White House. LINK

MICHELE BACHMANN:
ABC News’ Brian Ross: “Michele Bachmann Clinic: Where You Can Pray Away the Gay?” A former patient who sought help from the Christian counseling clinic owned by GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann and her husband, Marcus, told ABC News he was advised that prayer could rid him of his homosexual urges and he could eventually be "re-oriented." LINK

REGIONAL:
The Washington Times’ Valerie Richardson: “’Give Me Your Cash’ may cost Calif. Democrat some votes” The hot issue of Tuesday’s special runoff election for an open House seat in Los Angeles isn’t the economy, immigration or Medicaid — it’s gangs, thanks to what may be the most jaw-dropping political attack ad ever run. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS:
Debt Ceiling Battle: Obama’s StanceLINK
Michele Bachmann’s Family Business ExposedLINK
Speaker Boehner: ‘It Takes Two to Tango’LINK

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