The Note’s Must-Reads for Friday, August 12, 2011

Aug 12, 2011 3:33am

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

Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan Weisman: “Sour Mood Threatens Both Sides' Incumbents” An unprecedented fourth consecutive "change'' election could be brewing for 2012, with President Barack Obama's approval numbers tumbling and Republican disapproval ratings rising. LINK

ABC News’ Amy Walter and Michael Falcone: “Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty Take Gloves Off At Iowa Debate” The fierce battle between Republican presidential candidates Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann that has been waged at separate campaign stops across Iowa this week came to a head on Thursday when the two met for the first time on a debate stage here. Though they joined six of their fellow rivals, including front-runner Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, who made his debate debut, the sparring between the two Minnesotans was so intense that, at times, it seemed like two-hour exchange was a one-on-one exchange between them. LINK

Boston Globe’s Glen Johnson: “Romney, Bachmann succeed in Iowa debate” The eight leading candidates for the Republican presidential nomination met last night for a debate that largely produced two winners: Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann. LINK

Politico’s Alexander Burns: “Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann exchange blows at Republican debate” The simmering rivalry between Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann erupted at Thursday night’s Republican primary debate here, transforming Iowa’s first 2012 forum into a full-blown slugfest. LINK

The Hills’ Cameron Joseph: “Pawlenty, Bachmann spar in debate; Romney largely spared” Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) had some heated exchanges and largely ignored the front-runner in the GOP field, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, in Thursday night’s Iowa presidential debate. Pawlenty, who needs to shatter the perception that he lacks the spine to take on President Obama in the general election, got into a back-and-forth with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who's his major competition in Iowa and sought to make up for the last debate's missed opportunity to attack Romney directly.  LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Paul West and Seema Mehta: “GOP candidates debate in Ames, Iowa” In the most combative encounter of the 2012 contest, Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty and other mid-tier candidates tangled repeatedly over their records and positions on the economy and other issues in a televised debate Thursday night. The contentious exchanges reflected the heightened stakes for several candidates facing a stern test this weekend in an Iowa straw ballot with a history of culling the weakest contenders from the field. LINK

The New York Daily News: “GOP hopefuls turn on one other in Republican debate; Michelle Bachmann thrown sexist questions” The Bible tells wives to be submissive to their husbands. If she were president, would that apply to Michele Bachmann? In Thursday's Republican debate in Iowa, the Minnesota congresswoman was asked if she would be submissive to her husband. LINK

The New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny and Ashley Parker: “8 From G.O.P. Trade Attacks at Iowa Debate” A withering critique of President Obama’s handling of the economy was overshadowed by a burst of incivility among the Republican presidential candidates who gathered here for a debate on Thursday night and fought to stay alive in the party’s increasingly fractious nominating race. LINK

The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty and Philip Rucker: “Pawlenty, Bachmann spar early, often in GOP debate” The last vestiges of “Minnesota nice” fell by the wayside during a Republican debate here Thursday night, as the two candidates who have the most at stake in Iowa went after each other in the roughest exchange thus far in the race for the 2012 presidential nomination. LINK

The Washington Times’ Seth McLaughlin: “Romney takes on hecklers in Iowa” Mitt Romney faced down chants of “Wall Street greed!” Thursday as he stood, leg astride a hay bale, and brushed aside hecklers questioning how he planned to beef up Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid without cutting benefits. LINK

USA Today’s’ Jackie Kucinich and Susan Page: “Sharp jabs thrown at GOP debate — not all at Obama” It was not an evening that displayed that famous "Minnesota nice." Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty sparred heatedly in a high-stakes Republican presidential debate Thursday over their records and their ability to lead the GOP against President Obama in 2012. LINK

Is President Obama Repeating Bush-43's Mistakes?” LINK
Democrats Push Obama to Cancel VacationLINK

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